Ingredients (serves 2)
150g caster sugar.
50g unsalted butter.
4 to 5 Braeburn apples.
Puff pastry (all butter or best quality you can find).
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.