Rathfinny Wine Estate

New tanks arriving

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.

The tanks were craned into position and now sit ready to receive the wines we have chosen to blend into our four different Sussex Sparkling wines from 2018.  These tanks enable us to put each blend into the same tank prior to bottling, so we get consistency for the entire bottling. Last year we struggled and had to blend our Classic Cuvée across three different tanks.

We agreed on the blends last week, and I have to say that the 2018 base wines are amazing. After a lot of discussion among the team, we came to unanimous decisions about the blends and I think they are going to make some spectacular Sussex Sparkling wines when released in 2022. I think 2018 will definitely go down as one of the best vintages in the UK for many a year.


Just for the record, we’re producing a Blanc de Blancs, a Blanc de Noirs, a Rosé and a fantastic Classic Cuvée (a blend of all three grape varieties).

Roll on 2022…



  • Looks great and I can’t wait to try the 18’s both still and sparkling when released. A question, maybe for Jonathan, how do you get consistency when blending a single cuvee over several tanks before bottling?

    Also one maybe for Cameron, do you think Riesling would have ripened in 2018?

    • Hi Hugh – We aim to make the best blends (we make four different blends each year) possible each year from the wines we produce, we will always have a little variability year to year but that’s the joy of the vintage. Quality can be ensured by hard work in the vineyard and picking fruit at the right time each year. Cam says it was still unlikely that we’d have ripened Riesling to levels needed to make a really great wine, partly because everything started so late and September was cool. Rgds

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