Harvest is just around the corner for Rathfinny Wine Estate and the tension is mounting!
While Jonathan Médard prepares and Cameron nurtures, other diverse things are happening on the Estate. Last month saw the launch of the South Downs Food and Drink Portal (www.southdownsfood.org) at our Winery. The portal is an interactive website where you can search for local food and drink providers, businesses and places to visit. Rathfinny sources as much of its food and drink from local providers as we can and it was great to meet so many more at this event, make new connections and of course try their produce (a number of times, just to make sure!)
We’ve also held a few corporate away days and seminars both at our Flint Barns and in the Winery. These bespoke days have been exclusively catered by us and we’ve also made a new local contact in the form of Jane Green. One particular organisation requested “a night time” element for their staff – and who better to assist than the respected astronomer Jane, who has partnered Sir Patrick Moore on TV and lives in….Alfriston! Our planets must’ve been aligned. A truly mind blowing experience as Jane told the story of the creation of the universe and its stars, until my head began to ache with all the huge numbers and distances involved.
To clear their heads we organised for mountain biking in Friston Forest and a walk to the beach on the following day. We made use of our Winery, a great venue and location for these business meetings and seminars.
On the cycling theme I met a group from Seahaven Cycle Club at the Flint Barns café for coffee (and cake) before joining them for a guided ride around the Downs – any excuse to don my lycra. The café is open at the weekends throughout the winter from 10-4pm for cake, lunches, cakes and caffeine junkies. For those wishing to escape for half term, we still have some availability in the Flint Barns – please view the website for all the details and booking or drop Ade a line.
The stunning Harold Mockford collection of paintings in the Gun Room, our cellar door in Alfriston, has just been changed to illustrate a new set. These are on display in the shop and the Heritage Centre upstairs.
And finally, a rather large South African gentleman popped into the office this week. He happened to be the father of Schalk Burger the South African rugby player, but thankfully he wasn’t too in awe about meeting me! Schalk Burger Snr who owns Welbedacht Vineyard and Winery, also played rugby for the Boks, and as the image demonstrates, he’s a rather a large chap.
And yes, they are his real hands!! Great to meet him and discuss our two Estates before he had to leave to watch his son play – as some countries are still in the World Cup.