2020 certainly didn’t begin the way anyone could have expected, but as lockdown measures ease and little luxuries like dining out and planning trips resume, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about what’s going on at Rathfinny this summer. Whether you’re near or far away from our Estate, we want to share a taste of Sussex with you.
Summertime in the United Kingdom may be fleeting, but when it’s here we love to make the most of it with chilled drinks and signature cocktails! In the Driver household, a ‘V&T’ has been the family favourite during lockdown. Here, Sarah shares her secret summer drink, which pays homage to the chalky Sussex climate that produces a rich, fortified wine.
Meet David. David joined Rathfinny for Harvest 2019. This was a big change from his previous career in newspaper management as Managing Editor of the Today newspaper, Syndication Director for News International and, in more recent times, setting up a number of small businesses.
Judith wasn’t expecting a complete career change when she originally signed up for Harvest 2015. However, having enjoyed working harvest, she joined the pruning team in January 2016 and has been at Rathfinny ever since.
As we enter our 9th week of isolation, having ‘locked-down’ a week before we had to (our new granddaughter, Peggy and some of our children are living with us making me feel 102 as I am slightly asthmatic), I am reflecting on what it has meant for us at Rathfinny. Incidentally, having locked down, we all promptly fell ill with what we are sure was Coronavirus. Mark suffered the most (of course he did) and he coughed for a month. Honestly, if he hadn’t stopped coughing, I was tempted to…!
Meet Sarah. Sarah’s addition to our Vineyard crew was long in the making. Having previously missed the opportunity to work at a vineyard while she was living in Australia, Sarah was delighted to discover Rathfinny was nearby when she moved to Seaford 2 years ago and welcomed the chance to get involved with Harvest 2019. Sarah enjoyed the work so much she has continued to work during the pruning season and is now enjoying learning other aspects of vineyard maintenance.
2020 was set to be another milestone year for Rathfinny Wine Estate as we are releasing all four sparkling wines for the first time in our history, completing our wine portfolio. Well, events have indeed overtaken us, but here at Rathfinny, essential grape growing and wine production have not stopped.
Meet Julie. Having previously enjoyed running a delicatessen, Julie endured a difficult year and felt the time was right to make a change to her lifestyle, which timed perfectly with joining Rathfinny’s 2019 Harvest team. Since then, Julie has enjoyed working with the team of brilliant characters who spend a lot of time laughing as they pass each other in the vines.
A popular choice in our Flint Barns Dining Room, this brioche and butter pudding recipe from our Chef, Mark hits the spot when it comes to comfort food.
Meet David. In a past life, David worked as a bond trader in London for 27 years and during that time he had an 11 acre vineyard at his home in Wadhurst. Unfortunately, long hours at work meant he had very little time to get involved and enjoy the vineyard, but he did develop an interest and a belief in the potential of Sussex wine.
David was attracted to Rathfinny from a desire to work locally in the fresh air and was intrigued and impressed by the commitment and passion shown by the owners.
I must have missed the “Dealing with a global pandemic and impacts on your business” training day, but I’m glad that I’m not the only one.
As the coronavirus crisis worsens, and we have more and more restrictions put on our daily lives, there is always one thing we can look forward to: the constancy of nature. The sun will always rise and set and each day brings us further into the year as the seasons change.