Reminiscing about the amazing desserts we had on our Tasting Room menu last year, this carrot cake and walnut ice cream was a stand out winner. We used some fabulous fresh British carrots from and one of my favourite foraged herbs, meadowsweet (but you can of course just use the carrots you have and spice the syrup with cinnamon). If you don’t want to make the ice cream which requires an ice cream maker, you can either add a dollop of whipped cream or shop-bought vanilla ice cream alongside.
Situated close to the Rathfinny Wine Estate is Namayasai Farm, a local farm who produce the most amazing fruit and vegetables and always deliver with a friendly smile. I feel lucky to be able to cook with the ingredients and serve to our guests. That being said, you can of course source your berries for this sweet treat wherever is most convenient for you!
This is Jim Stanford. Jim is a semi-retired Nurse who has been working in the Vineyard, three days a week for the last two years. Previously, Jim spent 30 years working as a Nurse and Manager in an HIV unit in Brighton, where he continues to work a couple of days a month alongside his job at Rathfinny.
What attracted Jim to Rathfinny? The flexible working hours, stress-free work, easy commute, fresh air and beautiful countryside, partnered with a team spirit, made it the perfect first step towards retirement.
Jim is very excited to be involved in the UK’s growing wine industry and particularly enjoys learning the skill of pruning which he sees as a form of art as well as a science.
As a result of the current health crisis, Jim has recently been asked to return to nursing at his old unit on a full-time basis as the number of patients is expected to rise alongside staff shortages.
We wish you the best of luck Jim and look forward to welcoming you back to Rathfinny for harvest.
What very strange times we are living in! I was reflecting on a Chinese proverb, well actually a curse, that says “may he live in interesting times” and when I looked it up it referred to a speech that Kennedy delivered quoting it. I thought it was interesting though that he added “Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also the most creative of any time in the history of mankind.” Let us hope that we too can find the creativity to battle this latest challenge.
On Tuesday we had to close our Cellar Door and the whole Estate to visitors, however the good news is that we are still taking orders for local delivery within a 10 miles radius – please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Cellar Door (01323) 870022. We have also made more stock available to our on-line retailers across the UK so please check out our website to find your local on-line supplier. After all, it’s times like these in particular that we need cheering up, and what better way to do so than with a glass of our lovely Sussex Sparkling wine.
It will come as no surprise to you all that as of this Wednesday (18th March) in order to protect our staff and customers from spreading the Coronavirus, we have been forced to close the Tasting Room and Flint Barns. It has put considerable pressure on our business, with lost revenues and a mounting wage bill. The government is helping to bridge some of that gap with the suspension of business rates, a small grant to businesses and the provision of loans. However, loans don’t replace lost revenue and I would urge those of you who can help out your local businesses, to do so.However, they can be more expensive compared to other loans because they usually come with higher annual percentage rates (APRs).
Also, they come with a short repayment period, and usually need to be repaid within two to four weeks. What to Consider Before Taking out an Emergency Loan during Coronavirus Pandemic Firstly, you should consider checking state and federal relief programs. They are coming into place to help individuals and businesses during these difficult times, and you may be eligible for some kind of financial aid. However, if you need money right away, here is what to consider after you’ve decided for one of the mentioned options.
We have been busy at the Winery over the last few weeks blending base wines from the 2019 harvest. Although it was a difficult year in terms of weather (summer, where were you?), we are very pleased with the quality of the wines produced.
When creating blends, we often use the analogy of the painter, the canvas, the tubes of paint and the palette. It is true to some extent: we have a choice of many different varieties, clones and tanks to play with. But unlike the painter who will mix blue and yellow and always create a green colour, blending wines can prove a bit unpredictable.
Ingredients (serves 2)
150g caster sugar.
50g unsalted butter.
4 to 5 Braeburn apples.
Puff pastry (all butter or best quality you can find).
Recipe serves 8 and is suitable for vegetarians. Gluten-free option
At Rathfinny, we aim to support a skilled and local workforce which has been at the heart of our mission since Mark and Sarah Driver established the Estate in 2010. In our 10-year anniversary, we will be shining a light on some of our hard working casual staff who have found themselves drawn to our Vineyard for many different reasons and take a hands on approach to the essential jobs required to cultivate our vines. After all, you cannot make excellent wine from poor quality grapes.
On 21st January this year I found myself all suited and booted siting in the hallowed vaulted ceiling of the Guildhall London. Joe Fattorini, from the Wine Show, was the guest speaker to an audience comprising of students from 18 different countries. His proclamation to the hushed room? “There are more people that know how to work the Large Hadron Collider than have the WSET Diploma – you’ve joined wines elite.”
Right now, the Winery is busy disgorging the new releases of our sparkling wine. This critical process in sparkling wine started way back in 2019 when we began to determine the dosage levels for our wines. This activity occurs over many months, with our Winemaker Jonathan Medard leading the Rathfinny team through the process.
When we think of sustainability, it can mean many different things to different people. Environmental, socio-economic, financial. They all have their place but what is really important to a vineyard is the sustainability of the vines and their long-term future.
Pruning can make a huge difference to the longevity of a vine’s life and its architecture: its structure, branching and canopy. A few wrong cuts over time and the vine won’t be in a good way, the reason is that every cut will cause dieback, where the vine heals itself. Learning to prune is not a simple process, and even though most people will pick up the basics in a few hours it takes a lifetime to master.
It’s the start of a new decade and I’ve been reflecting about our journey that started almost 10 years ago – it’s hard to believe. If I’m very honest, last year was very hard work. Not that the earlier years weren’t, but it was hard in a different way. From 2010-2018 we were so focused on just doing what had to be done. Vines to be ordered, early staff to be recruited, buildings to be renovated and a winery to be designed and built. The vines arrived and then we needed to put in the trellising and wires, deal with planning issues, start to design and plan the Flint Barns, work out a waste water plant all alongside developing a brand, stationery, cards and a logo. More staff were recruited and suddenly we had an accounts team and a growing back office.
Last week, we took over Le Gavroche with a Rathfinny dinner. Yes, you read that correctly. An English wine event at Le Gavroche, London’s bastion of French cuisine, with celebrated super-chef Michel Roux Jr at the helm. We were the first English winery to do it, apparently, a fact that only enhanced the magic of the evening.