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.
2019 has been one of those years where it all looked like everything was going to be great and easy and then the weather had other ideas right at the last minute.
The season was generally ok, nothing like 2018 but a fairly good one for the UK with above average temperatures for most of the year. Then it all suddenly turned in September, bringing us the first wet and at times challenging harvest in the history of Rathfinny.
Harvest at Rathfinny is expected to start next week, on or about 9th October. So far, we have had over 400 people sign up directly via our website and have over 20 people booked to stay on-site at the Flint Barns, from as far afield as Abu Dhabi and Alberta, Canada.
As Cameron said recently “We must be doing something right!”. I believe we’re treating people well, with reasonable
We often talk about sustainability here at Rathfinny, and that takes many forms from repurposing our menu’s in the restaurant for scrap paper to the introduction of paper rather than plastic spray guards around the young vines. One thing we haven’t really touched on is bird control.
On Friday 21st June, I travelled out of my jurisdiction up to the wonderful city of Leeds.
Rathfinny were invited to show our recently launched 2015 Blanc de Noirs and our 2016 Rosé sparkling wines by Harvey Nichols. Not an invite to turn down. It was with much excitement that I boarded the choo choo as I knew this was a great opportunity to show case our current wines to a new audience.
It’s been another busy week at Rathfinny. We took delivery of three new 58,000-litre blending tanks (each double the size of a petrol tanker), a further four new fermentation tanks, and two bottling tanks, ready for harvest this year and bottling next month.
They look rather nice now, in situ, but it was a slight shock when they arrived and we hoped that we’d measured the width of the entrance correctly! Jonathan Médard our winemaker was sweating a little more than the others, but they just squeezed in with an inch (2.5cms) to spare on either side… A perfectly designed winery. Well done to all concerned.
It’s my usual springtime blog post. Complaining about the weather and musing about planting.
To be fair we’ve had quite a good run weather wise. Mid-20’s Celcius at the end of April is fine by me, it’d just be nice if it stayed for longer than a couple of days. It’s just the wind this past weekend, can we please have less of that? The planting team looked like they’d been sandblasted!
We’re delighted and a little excited to announce that our new wines, a Blanc de Noirs from 2015 and our Rosé 2016 will be launched to the trade at an event at the fabulous Ritz hotel next Wednesday 1st May and will go on general sale through our UK agent Gonzalez Byass (UK) from 1st June.
These wines, together with our 2014 Blanc de Blancs, will be available by the glass throughout the Ritz hotel for the month