The Rathfinny Wine Estate is located just to the west of the Cuckmere Valley.
I came here as a child on a geography field trip to look at the meandering river and the iconic ox-bow lakes. I’m sure many other students have done the same over the years as the Cuckmere attracts over 400,000 visitors a year. Well those ox-bow lakes are now at risk because the Environment Agency (EA) decided in 2009 to give up on maintaining the sea defenses and wants the area below the A259, the Cuckmere Haven, to become a “self-sustaining system”. However, there is a problem with this plan because the shingle on the beach keeps shifting. All the modeling of water flows and the like can’t predict what will happen to shingle that blocks off the river mouth and prevents the river from emptying properly, so we get flooding up the valley, as you can see.
New Year is a time for reflection and New Year’s resolutions. Mine normally revolve around losing weight and getting fit, after a period of excess it makes sense to have a few days off alcohol and try and shed a few kilos. However, this year is slightly different.
2015 starts with us moving into production and sales mode. We have spent four years planting and building and now we leave that behind us, for now, and we can start building the market for our wines. That is partly why we are working to establish a PDO for Sussex Sparkling.