Get into the Harvest Spirit!
Words by Sarah
Autumn for me always feels like a new beginning, much more so than January 1st. Is it the schoolgirl within me getting ready for a new term? Is it the mother in me getting my kids ready for a new class – new shoes, uniform, pens and pencils? Whilst my daughters went off with shiny new pencil cases full to the brim, my sons barely had a ragged pencil between them – they just didn’t care!
But more than anything that marks a sense of a new journey, is harvest on the Estate. The build-up, watching the grapes ripen and change colour, to getting the stats on the bunch weights and watching the weather even more closely.
The anticipation heightens to that wonderful moment when the picking starts. From welcoming our local seasonal workers – many new and familiar faces – to the safety briefing on using the ‘snips’.
Divided into teams, lines of pickers head off to the vines, matching the symmetry of the rows as they march, and a gentle hum of activity resonates through the valley. Then the grapes start to arrive, buckets full, the first of many more to come. They are weighed and loaded gently into the presses and then the magic happens. The aroma of those grapes, the heady sweetness, full of summer flavour yet laden with promise, evocative of autumn and everything that feels right. It’s the flow of the seasons at its very best, a reminder that with all the uncertainty in the world, there are time-honoured routines that ground us. I adore it.
The good news is that you can share it with us! Down at the Flint Barns, set in the heart of the vineyard, we have a new and exciting harvest menu of small and delicious plates at lunchtime and an equally delicious menu in the evening, all using seasonal, local produce. Just looking through the sample menu is making me hungry! If you really want to feel a part of our harvest, then book one of our comfortable rooms for the night and wake up to a warming breakfast.
We pride ourselves on offering really unique experiences at Rathfinny, ones that you can’t find elsewhere. Last year on our harvest tours we focused on blending and this year we’re taking you on a journey to understand dosage. Having walked through the vines, sit down and learn how the addition of sugar impacts the style of a wine. You’ll try zero dosage wines and some Liqueur d’Expedition (you’ll have to come to find out what that is!), then you’ll add the dosage yourself and find out the way it changes the style of the wine. You’ll finish off with a tasting of four of our wines. This is not to be missed! This experience will be running twice a day, Tuesday to Saturday, from Tuesday 4th October to Saturday 29th October. It lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and costs £30pp. Book on whilst you have the chance!
We will also be offering drop-in tastings as usual down at the Flint Barns in the marquee, as well as setting up the shop for essential wine purchases! Our opening hours will be the same as normal – 10am to 5pm, 7 days a week.
Do come and join us!