At just 26 years of age, Kristina is a deeply valued member of the Rathfinny team, having been with us for 8 years. As a Wine Business graduate from Plumpton College and having most recently completed her WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines, Kristina oversees Customer Experiences at Rathfinny Wine Estate, ensuring every guest has a memorable visit. This includes managing our Cellar Door shop, supporting product development, and leading tour and tasting experiences.
Words by Kristina
When I talk to people about my job, I often joke that it’s very difficult tasting wine all day! Of course, I don’t always taste wine all day, but wine tasting is a big part of my working week and, well, who wouldn’t love that?! Working in the hospitality/retail sector, my working week often starts on a Tuesday and no two days are the same.
Tuesday sees me catching up from the busy weekend and planning for the week. Today, my team and I are sending out cases of our 2018 Blanc de Noirs and Blanc de Blancs to our Rathfinny Reserved customers. Our Reserved programme gives customers the opportunity to pre-order these two premium wines by the case and to secure their allocation before release. Our customers have been patiently waiting for the past two years for these wines to be ready and I’m delighted to be shipping them today.
After work it’s time to taste some wine! One of my colleagues is studying for the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines; an exam that I undertook this time last year. I’ve organised a series of blind wine tasting sessions to help her exam preparations, this was week 3 – three wines from the same region. We taste the wines individually, writing tasting notes in exam conditions, before reflecting on them to guess the wine region – this is one quarter of the tasting exam!
Wednesday was a day focussed on developing new products for the Cellar Door shop, exploring new suppliers and branded products for the summer. We’ve got some lovely new products in the shop with more coming over the next few weeks. We try to source food and wine related products from the local area as much as possible. New products include beautiful locally made chocolates, local gluten free biscuits for cheese and recycled plastic placemats.
In the evening I led a wine training session for the Wine Tourism Front of House team. I run these once a month to give the team an opportunity to keep tasting Rathfinny wines, new and current releases, in addition to tasting through the wines that are listed in the Tasting Room restaurant and Flint Barns Dining Room. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to ask questions about any of the wines, and most importantly to taste them! This week we tasted the newly released Cradle Valley 2020 Pinot Gris and our signature sparkling wine – 2018 Blanc de Noirs. Both were tasting fantastic and are now on sale in the Cellar Door shop and online.
Thursday was filled with meetings and admin, ordering new products and reordering our bestsellers.
Friday was a mixed day of meetings and public tours and tastings. The morning was spent developing our plans for the upcoming annual English Wine Week, taking place at the end of June. We are running more tours & tastings during the period 18th to 26th June, along with other food and wine related plans – watch this space for more information! The rest of the day was spent conducting tours & tastings for visitors to the estate. I’m passionate about making wine approachable to all, so our tours & tastings are a great opportunity to gain an insight into the history and winemaking philosophy at Rathfinny.
This week I booked annual leave for the weekend, because on Monday I attended my graduation ceremony for the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines. I passed the Diploma last year, after hundreds of hours of studying and tasting hundreds of wines. It was wonderful celebrating the achievement alongside over 650 graduates in London’s Guildhall.