Rathfinny Wine Estate

All Quiet

The image above was taken last weekend as I caught up on some peace and quiet by asking my four kids, aka The Tribe, to count the vines.

On Monday I was delivering some of our Seven Sisters Gin to a shop and I got chatting to one of their customers and they stated “must be quiet up at Rathfinny this time of year.”

Before I replied I thought to myself;

So… this week the Flint Barns has been busy with Christmas dinners for local businesses and they have one more still to come which has a full flight of English wines to taste beforehand as well.  These guests will then sleep in comfort to prepare themselves for chef’s Full English Breakfast! Fresh local produce has been prepared (and consumed) and the local wine (and beer) has been flowing.  So definitely not quiet at the Flint Barns.

In the vineyard pruning has commenced now the frosts have ‘told’ the vines to go to sleep.  With around 250,000 vines to give hair cuts to this will keep the team extremely busy for a long time yet.  So the sound of secateurs being sharpened means that the vineyard is also not a place of sanctuary.

The Gun Room, our cellar door in the village of Alfriston is open for Christmas shopping, wine tastings and also the much needed coffee break to keep everyone going. So the chime of the till* and the sound of spraying Caudalie products means that our shop is also raucously not quiet.

(* artistic license used here as our PDQ machines and computer wizardary don’t “chime” – Ed)

Down in the depths of our purpose built Winery all the tanks are full of wine destined for second fermentation, before materialising as Sussex Sparkling wine.  Tanks are being racked off, floors are being cleaned and everything is kept ‘spick and span’.  Quiet?  Nope.

Our cellar.  Surely, this cavernous building which will eventually store all of our sparkling wines for around 3 years must be quiet.  Surely the yeast is quiet as it turns the sugars into alcohol and adds its magic to bring forth those wonderful nuances of brioche, toast or nuts to the nose of the wine?  Nope.  Our cellar is just shy of completion, so with all the paraphernalia that comes with workmen this place is also not library quiet.

Which leaves only the office and the land not under vines.  Our habitat areas and arable land is dotted with fieldfares, redwings and territorial green woodpeckers.  A ‘yaffling’ woodpecker is most definitely not peaceful.  So is the office an oasis of peaceful serenity?  Of course not.  Excel spreadsheets are composed and telephone inquiries are dealt with.

So I looked at the young lady and replied with a smile “oh, you know, we’re just ticking along as we build up to launching our first sparkling wine in June next year!”


Happy Christmas from everyone at Rathfinny Wine Estate



  • I enjoyed reading these thoughts on ‘quiet’ over my croissant, marmalade and coffee. A break from filling my house with two tonnes of Christmas decorations in anticipation of my grandchildren’s arrival from France.

    May your vines have a good Christmas and I look forward to sampling their wares.

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