Rathfinny Wine Estate

Grenada and back for Christmas

As many of you will have heard, I recently sailed across the Atlantic from the Canaries to Grenada in the Caribbean. It took us seventeen days and it was a real adventure.

I’d always wanted to cross the Atlantic, but in a comfortable boat with enough water and food, in a safe enough environment, in a boat designed for the task. So with six like-minded chaps we set off from Gran Canaria on the 22nd November in an Oyster 66 sailing yacht and headed south to find the elusive trade winds that are meant to blow you over the Atlantic. We sailed and motored south then west then south again and sadly we didn’t find the ‘Trades’ until we were six hundred miles from Barbados. We did catch lots of fish and read a few books on the way. Some of you might have followed our blog – http://goodwindsatalantic.wordpress.com


When we arrived in Grenada our wives had flown out to join us and we had a brief cruise up through the Grenadines to St. Lucia where we left the boat to fly home for Christmas.

We returned to a damp, stormy UK. Luckily the vines are resting at this time of year, and although our old cattle barn sustained a little damage and the Cuckmere flooded the valley and parts of Alfriston, the rest of Rathfinny got off lightly from the recent storms and luckily the new roof had been completed on the Flint Barns.

Flint Barns

I’d like to thank everyone at Rathfinny for all their hard work over the last year. We have achieved a lot in the last twelve months – we planted a further 20 hectares of vines and the vineyard team put up all the trellising. We completed the Winery building, removed all the overhead electricity cables running across the estate and replaced them with underground cables, and we opened the Gun Room, our store in the Alfriston. We started work on the seasonal workers accommodation at the Flint barns and got planning permission for a new entrance. It has been a very busy year.

Happy New Year to all and may the weather gods shine brightly on us for a more normal summer in 2014.

Mark Driver




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Alfriston is undergoing essential mains water replacement and there is no through access from 3rd January – 30th May. Click below for alternative routes: