Sarah Driver shares the real story behind the 50cl Bottle of Rathfinny Sparkling wine.

I thought I’d put the record straight and explain why we like the idea of the 50cl bottle of sparkling wine. I want to make you aware that we’ve been campaigning for the 50cl format, not an Imperial Pint, which is a redundant measure and is unlikely to ever take off in the wine trade because no-one makes a pint sized bottle or uses pints. However, they do use 50cl bottles in still wine and we have been campaigning to close the anomaly that allows us to sell still wine in 50cl bottles but not sparkling wine.

Anyone who knows me will know my favourite drink has always been sparkling wine. I’m thrifty and not a big drinker so the idea of the a 50cl bottle containing four 125ml glasses is perfect for me as it’s an agreeable measure for a couple to share. Whilst I’ve learnt that you don’t have to finish a traditional 75cl bottle in one sitting (it stoppers well overnight and takes on new flavours), a smaller bottle is perfect for picnics, kicking off an evening and favoured by health-conscious drinkers.

It will also be bottle aged and fermented, unlike many half (37.5cl) bottles which are generally filled by the transfer method from a larger bottle and therefore not considered to be of the same quality.

We’ve talked about this since we established the Vineyard in 2010 – we’ve always loved the idea of it. Furthermore, it’s a gorgeous bottle, won’t cost as much and will make a lovely token gift. In fact, if the legislation does pass in our favour, our first release will be a true collector’s item as we only bottled a few hundred!

I’ve never understood why this measure for sparkling wine is not allowed in Europe, where sparkling wine can only be sold in 37.5cl, 75cl and multiples of 75cl bottles. After all we have, 50cl sized bottles of still wine. Whilst some commentators have said it will never catch on, I guarantee that many will be looking at this development with interest. In the meantime, if other English Sparkling houses follow suit, this could really put the English wine industry on the global map, making it, at least for a time, something specific to our small nascent industry.

So, there we have it, the truth behind our idea for introducing a 50cl  sized bottle of sparkling wine. We look forward to the legislation changing and you being able to try for yourselves and decide if you agree with us that it’s the perfect sized bottle to share.

Update (27.12.23): The Department for Business and Trade have announced new legislation to allow the sale of 50cl bottles of sparkling wine which should hopefully come into effect at some point in 2024. Stay tuned!

Sarah Driver Holding Pint Bottle
Cases of Pint Bottles