This years planting was quite unlike any other, and for more than one reason.
Once again we had the team from Vinplant over from Germany to get our vines in the ground at the beginning of last week.
Unlike previous years we planted quite late (for us) the last week of April rather than the first. Luckily this meant we planted into moist soils from the previous weekends rain and have since had a few good downpours of rain to help bed in the vines. If we had planted early the vines would have gone into parched, dry soils, with no rain for weeks. So much for April showers!
I love music and often wait for the opera shows at Ryman as they are simply spectacular. Nothing creates a sense of place like live music, so when Sarah and Mark invited my chamber ensemble, London Conchord, to become the resident ensemble at Rathfinny we jumped at the chance to bring music into the stunning setting of the Estate and to make Rathfinny our musical home. As a group and as individuals we have played all over the world in venues such as the White House and the Wigmore Hall, but never in a Winery. The acoustics are perfect!
This is one of the many quotations left to us by the great Winston Churchill. He finished by saying that the most important thing about education is “appetite”. Any of us could finish this sentence in a different way. Here at Rathfinny Estate we aim to whet the appetite as well as fulfil it. We are also aware that education does not stop when you leave school. The appetite may change, you may seek new ideas or just wish to look at the world via a different perspective.
In the English wine industry we are fortunate to have Plumpton College, which is affiliated to Brighton University, right on our doorstep. Plumpton has become world renowned for its courses in both vinification and viticulture. Many of our vineyard staff have been trained at Plumpton and continue to do so. The Estate were major supporters of the new Rathfinny Research Winery at the college to really hone the skills of their students which come from all over the world to study there.