This week saw national Cycle to Work day which was an excellent excuse for me to ride my bike (again).
Last year we became ‘members’ of the Cyclescheme so Rathfinny staff could make use of Government tax breaks and purchase a bike for riding to work. The benefits stretch from Rathfinny being even more sustainable to healthier members of staff.
To assist with this we have installed new cycle racks in the ‘vineyard barn’ so staff have somewhere secure to lock their bikes and then we realised we were perhaps missing a trick. Our guests to the Flint Barns may also wish to cycle to the Estate or even better, bring their cool gloves for downhill and bikes for use when they stay here. So we have also installed a set of bike racks at the Flint Barns which are shown in the image at the start of this blog. We’ve already led one guided bike ride for 25 guests as part of a corporate team building exercise and last year we also led an element of a ride for the local cycle club, Cycle Seahaven, and we hope to repeat this shortly. The Flint Barns is ideally located for walking, cycling, canoeing, pub-ing, relaxing, dining and of course drinking wine!
The Flint Barns has been really busy over the summer and Ade and his team will be promoting future dining events via the mailing list. As always, you have to be on the mailing list to receive the dates and details and my personal advice is – be quick!
The above image is currently the state of play with Phase 2 & 3. Our bottling/disgorging/labeling building (blue shaded roof) and our cellar for the on-lees storage for three years (green shaded roof). To combine with work we are already doing on the Estate, we are installing some key elements to enhance wildlife to these buildings. Both will be landscaped using local native species of trees, grass and wildflower. We are installing a number of bat and bird boxes to appropriate elevations and will be leaving woodpiles to produce refugia and hibernacula. The entire footprint of the on-lees storage building sits within our arable field, this building will therefore have an extra wildlife margin sown around it. Its all taking shape here at Rathfinny.
Two further milestones were reached this week as well. Firstly, we welcomed the Gonzalez Byass UK team to the Estate. Many of you will already know that GBUK will be our distributors. In many aspects of business, and indeed life, positive relationships are vital. So it was fantastic to meet all the GBUK team, for them to stay at the Flint Barns, sample our food and of course grab a tasting of our Sussex sparkling which will be released in June next year (so excited). At Rathfinny, our values are centered around our sparkling wine which has a sense of place – Sussex. The whole experience open to our guests, from the wine, the food, the care and attention to detail is intertwined with our core value which is ‘family’. These core values are mirrored at Gonzalez Byass and we’re all looking forward to 2018 and working together as we move forward.
The final important ‘bit’ to my blog is that this week saw the 4th birthday of my triplets. I’ve mentioned them before in my blogs and also the great work of the Trevor Mann Baby Unit and their Rockinghorse Appeal. My wife and I have a fabulous 9 year old daughter and now we have three 4 year old little people as well.
I asked them if I could take their photo before I left for work. This is the result. The defence rests their case.
Now where’s that bottle of Sussex…….