Rathfinny Wine Estate

New Year Resolutions and very hard decisions

The classical music Festival 2016 at Rathfinny is cancelled.

Let me start by wishing you all a very happy New Year.  It’s a time of reflection and of resolutions (I’m on a dry January though no one will be surprised to hear that my husband is not!) and I have done much reflecting and thinking over the past fortnight and have come to one of the hardest decisions since we started Rathfinny 5 years ago.

As we looked ahead to what will be an incredibly busy year, with major building works due to start in June, constructing a wine processing and storage facility, and as we edge ever closer to launching our first Sussex sparkling wine, we took the time to muse on the past year. After a lot of thought and with a heavy heart we have decided not to go ahead with the annual Festival of classical music with the London Conchord Ensemble.

For those of you who were there last year, who heard their exquisite playing and who enjoyed having a picnic in the Winery, this may be disappointing news.

We believe that the link between the arts and wine is an enduring and immensely important one, however, staging a weekend of classical music, as we did last year, was a much more significant undertaking than any of us had ever expected and was extremely stressful and we are still a very small team!  For me personally, this decision has been a particularly sad one, but it had been playing on my mind, as I had made a resolution this year to try and give myself more time in my life and reduce stress, in our already very busy business and family lives.

Coincidentally, we also had a thinking session on ‘Change Management’ in connection with our charity, the Driver Youth Trust, which posed the question:

How do you really make a difference and achieve your goals?

The answer was to be very, very focused on your core aims.

In our charity it is to help children with dyslexia and those who struggle with literacy.  At Rathfinny our aim is to make the best sparkling wine we can, one that will merit awards and be consumed around the world.  Whilst having an annual music festival is a lovely thing, it is not our core business and we don’t have the luxury of a revenue stream (and won’t have for a few years yet) in order to fund it or the staff to manage it.

As I said, it’s been a very hard decision to take.

On a brighter note, our Sussex sparkling wine from 2014 is ageing well in bottles in the cellar and I’ve been promised a taste by Jonathan very soon.  He also tells me it will soon be time to taste and blend, our 2015 wines, which I loved doing last year.

Good luck with your resolutions, whatever they may be.



  • Sad news but probably the right decision.
    I am sure that the future will allow you to revisit this.
    Have a wonderful 2016.
    John & Kay Fitzgerald

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