Sarah’s Blog

Happy New Year to you all and I hope that you, like us, actually had a fairly good Xmas and New Year, despite it being very different. There was less hustle and bustle, less cooking and fewer people (have to confess, I just looked up when to use ‘less’ for things you can’t count – and when to use ‘fewer’ for things you can!) That said, there was a peace to it, a chance to do things differently, a chance for me to sit and lose myself in a jigsaw puzzle, a chance to switch off.

We also used the opportunity to have a really good clear out at home and whilst we weren’t quite up to Marie Kondo standards, I can honestly say clearing out the clutter from our four children’s cupboards, has felt really good. Honestly, did we really need every scribble they’d ever drawn, all those Pokemon cards or every CD from the 1980s? I’d thoroughly recommend it if you haven’t already done so.

Whilst chucking things I came across a Mindfulness book – Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Professor Mark Williams and Danny Penman – that is actually really good. Having been dabbling in mindfulness since lock-down, I found this book really explained some of the concepts and the meditations are all online. Listening to a middle-aged man from England is slightly different from my usual voices from across the Atlantic, but once you get past that the content is very good. I’m on an 8-week programme and I’ll let you know how I get on.

We start the new year with further lock-downs, with many of our Wine Tourism team on furlough as the Tasting Room and the Flint Barns are closed and with no idea of when things will return to normal. That’s not a great outlook for a business dependent on hospitality sales!

Having said that, Mark and I remain optimistic. Part of that is because there’s actually nothing we can do about the ‘bigger’ picture and because there is a vaccine out there and we know from history that this time will pass. It’s also because we know that people will still want to drink our lovely Sussex Sparkling wine – perhaps even more so in these glum days!

We’re been so touched by the support we have received from far and wide over the holiday period. From people tagging us on social media, to those who have sent us photos of posters advertising our Rosé for sale in Hong Kong. We’ve been sent photos and messages from not only friends drinking Rathfinny to celebrate, but also from extended contacts buying us for their weddings and as presents. Honestly, I cannot tell you how ridiculously excited we get when people share their experiences of drinking our wine and of their special moments. Keep them coming!

Looking ahead – Our Trail is out there waiting for you. We’ve put together a fabulous new map, with lots of Estate information and things to look out for. You can pick it up from the Cellar Door, which is still open, from 11am to 3pm every day and it’s a lovely way to blow the cobwebs away and to get out of the house safely. Why not pick up a bottle of our bubbly at the same time?! Our Online Shop is stocked and it’s only a click away. And finally, we’ve been planning new ideas of ways to welcome you to the Estate over the next few months so watch this space!

Stay safe and stay drinking!

Sarah Driver