Hello everyone, it’s my favourite season of the year, spring is just around the corner and so is the opening of the fabulous Flint Barns. I’m super excited to be able to tell you all that our first weekend of opening will be 27th & 28th February. To begin with the Flint Barns will be open only on the weekends or during the week for large groups or exclusive hire. For further details or to make an online booking our website is now live so please visit the website here.
If there is one thing I have learnt over the past four and a half years, it is that we are on a steep learning curve in so many ways! Not only with the world of wine and creating the perfect Sussex Sparkling but in relation to starting a business, taking on a staff (now 19), opening a shop, understanding PR and branding, designing websites, fitting out Flint Barns (recently described by Sawdays as a ‘poshtel’!) but I have also learnt more than I want to about planning applications, bats and waste water treatment plants!
We’re still Pruning and it was suggested that we try and explain why we prune and how we prune the vines so what better way to do this than with a short video…
So we have produced a short video on pruning, with Rick Burrows from the vineyard explaining how, and why we prune:
While all the tasks in the vineyard are important nothing is more critical than pruning. There are a four main reasons we prune:
The Rathfinny Wine Estate is located just to the west of the Cuckmere Valley.
I came here as a child on a geography field trip to look at the meandering river and the iconic ox-bow lakes. I’m sure many other students have done the same over the years as the Cuckmere attracts over 400,000 visitors a year. Well those ox-bow lakes are now at risk because the Environment Agency (EA) decided in 2009 to give up on maintaining the sea defenses and wants the area below the A259, the Cuckmere Haven, to become a “self-sustaining system”. However, there is a problem with this plan because the shingle on the beach keeps shifting. All the modeling of water flows and the like can’t predict what will happen to shingle that blocks off the river mouth and prevents the river from emptying properly, so we get flooding up the valley, as you can see.
The wines from the 2014 harvest are currently “resting”. After they finished both fermentations (alcoholic and malolactic), they were racked off their lees and transferred into different tanks, along with a slight readjustment of the sulphur level to prevent oxidation and control microbiological activity. The wines were then left to settle even more.
When I take samples, the wines are now already looking clean, there is no more of the typical haze that can be seen just after fermentations. Now is the time for fining trials where I try different fining agents and assess how they affect the wine. The principle of fining is to remove undesirable components of the wine by agglomeration/flocculation and then sedimentation.