Rathfinny Sussex Sparkling Winemaking Team
The Rathfinny Winery team are an experienced bunch who craft our low-intervention, Traditional Method, vintage Sussex Sparkling wines. Our core team is made up of five key members. Pooled together, their knowledge and experience make them a force to be reckoned with.
Tony leads the winemaking and production teams at Rathfinny, making sure the grapes from the vineyard, are turned into world class sparkling Sussex wine.
Originally from Australia, Tony started his winemaking career by completing a Graduate Diploma at the University of Adelaide. Upon graduation, he worked as a winemaker with some of Australia’s largest wineries in the Riverland, before moving to the smaller, iconic Katnook Estate in Coonawarra.
After many successful vintages, he relocated to Europe to work in the Abruzzo region of Italy before taking up a 12 year oenology lecturing post at Plumpton College. In 2019 he left Plumpton to return to the industry and we were thrilled to welcome him to Rathfinny Wine Estate.
Although I’m Australian, don’t be fooled. I barely even noticed Australia smashed the Brits in the Ashes this year!
The newest additition to the Rathfinny winemaking team, Miguel oversees all winemaking activities from grape receival to bottling.
Growing up in Portugal in one of the largest Port-producing families means the drinks business has always been in Miguel’s blood. However, it wasn’t until he worked a harvest in New Zealand that he was truly bitten by the sparkling winemaking bug. Since then, Miguel has made wine in Faugeres, Marlborough and Napa but ultimately decided to make England his home thanks to his passion for English sparkling winemaking. He is committed to crafting exceptional wines that have a true sense of place.
Like many of our team, Alex studied at the world-renowned winemaking college, Plumpton before working harvests in the Mosel, Margaret River and Sonoma. He then settled into winemaking and production roles at Bolney Wine Estate for seven years before moving on to Rathfinny.
Alex takes custody of our wines from the point of bottling, so is responsible for bottling, cellaring, riddling, disgorging, labelling and dispatch. The job involves a lot of quality control to maintain the inherent quality of the base wine in the look and taste of the final product.
It all starts with loving wine, and in particular sparkling wine. The best part about Rathfinny is the focus on quality and the transparency of the product. It’s all grapes from one visitable site, vinified to showcase the fruit, and disgorged with low dosage. That makes it a great terroir wine (if you believe in that sort of thing). Alex, Production Manager
We were delighted to welcome Roger to the team in 2020. He’s worked in the UK wine industry all his working life including Bolney in East Sussex and Denbies in Surrey. To date, Roger has worked 18 Vintages as a cellar hand in various wineries and six years working in vineyards, including driving the Denbies picking machines.
Today, he is Assistant Winemaker here at Rathfinny, so he looks after the day to day running of the Winery and supporting vital aspects of health and safety. We’re also lucky to have Roger involved on the B-Corp committee, helping us be the very best business we can be.
Having witnessed Rathfinny grow over the years through his partner, Kristina who manages the Cellar Door, Ash decided it was time to leave his office job and switch to something more hands-on.
In 2018, Ash was one of the 200 pickers involved in harvest which he thoroughly enjoyed so stayed to help the following season. During this time, he also worked in the Tasting Room (where some may recognise him!) and took the opportunity to help out in the production facility, splitting his time between departments.
Since then, he’s been working full-time in the production department and completed wine and operational courses. We’re excited for him to take his next step in an ‘Operations & Manufacturing Management’ apprenticeship through the university of Lincoln, starting in early 2022. Good luck Ash!
“I feel fortunate to have been given the opportunity to join a caring and progressive company in an interesting, fast-growing industry. I also feel privileged to have worked in multiple departments and get to work with such a great bunch of people.”