Experience a tour of the Rathfinny Wine Estate and learn how we turn our grapes into world-class Sussex Sparkling wines. We offer seasonal vineyard tours and wine tastings all year round.
If you have a gift voucher for a Tour & Tasting, please contact our Cellar Door to book your visit as these vouchers cannot be redeemed online.
Harvest Dosage Tasting
Join us for an exclusive Harvest Dosage Tasting and discover first-hand how the addition of sugar changes the style and structure of a sparkling wine.
Starting with a short walk into the vineyard, your guide will introduce you to our stunning estate, nestled in the heart of the South Downs National Park, giving you an insight into the history and workings of Rathfinny. You will then be given the opportunity to conduct your own dosage trial, adding different levels of sugar to a base wine to see how this affects its final style. The experience will conclude with a guided tasting of four of our highly regarded Sussex Wines.
Time. 12pm & 3pm, Tuesday – Saturday | Duration. 1hr 30mins in total | Price. £30 per person
Join us this winter for a Sussex wine tour. Learn how a typical year of growing vines and wine production progresses. Among the highlights are a visit to our RIBA nominated Winery to learn the process and care involved in making high quality wines, followed by an exclusive visit to our bottling building, concluding with a tasting of our Sussex Sparkling wines. You may wish to combine your visit with lunch at the Tasting Room which can be booked separately in advance.
Time. 10.30pm, 1pm & 3pm, Saturday & Sunday | Duration. 1hr 45mins in total | Price. £27.50 per person
Sussex Wine Tasting
There are many other ways to sample our Sussex wines, including drop-in tastings at the Cellar Door so you can sample before you purchase, tasting menus with wine pairings at the Tasting Room or enjoy a glass of Sussex at The Hut which is our new walk-in bar. We also have accommodation to allow you to stay in the heart of the vineyard while you enjoy our wines.
Summer Tour & Tasting
Watch the Vineyard come to life on one of our guided Summer Tours and Tastings. You will start with a walk through the vines to learn about our viticulture methods and take a closer look at how the grapes are progressing. Your tour will include behind the scenes access to our state of the art Winery building and conclude with a guided tasting of our Rathfinny Sussex wines.
Time. 10.30am, 1pm and 3pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday | Duration. 1hr 45mins in total | Price. £27.50 per person
SELF-GUIDED VINEYARD TOUR
Explore the Vineyard at your own pace with our self-guided walking trail. Visit the Cellar Door during opening hours to collect a map that we’ve carefully designed with information about our location, the vines, wildlife, and our hospitality facilities. There are also audio talking posts along the way. The trail is suitable for dogs and children but please note the ground can be uneven underfoot. No need to pre-book and free parking is available.
Enjoy a pre-tour coffee or a glass of your favourite wine from the tasting section of your tour at The Hut. Our al fresco bar is situated just outside the Cellar Door where your tour begins and ends. Open every day, serving our Sussex wines, hot and cold drinks, freshly baked cakes and light bites.
The Tasting Room
Enjoy a two or three-course lunch or an evening tasting menu with wine pairings overlooking our vineyard at the award-winning Tasting Room.
The Flint Barns Dining Room
Join us at our Flint Barns Dining Room for a relaxed dining experience. Dinner is served every Wednesday to Saturday and be sure to check out or seasonal dining experiences including The Summer Kitchen.
SUSSEX VINEYARD TOUR INFORMATION
Steeped in history and farmed for generations, the Rathfinny Vineyard occupies 600 acres of land, encompassed by the South Downs National Park and the English Channel. During our tours, you will understand how our sense of place grounds Rathfinny to its core through the combination of our coastal geography, chalk soil, state of the art winemaking facilities and local community workforce that work together to produce our high-quality, vintage Sussex Sparkling wines.
Now is a particularly exciting time to enjoy a Sussex Vineyard tour as the provenance of Sussex Sparkling wine has recently been recognised with official legal status – awarded a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). This is a momentous time in our history as it establishes a gold standard for Sussex wines, in the same vein as other protected products like Champagne, Jersey Royal Potatoes and Cornish clotted cream, well-known for their quality guarantee.
Rathfinny offers incredible experiences that can be enjoyed as a gift in the form of a voucher or booked in advance. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or anniversary or you’re taking time to indulge in what you love, Rathfinny Wine Estate is the perfect place to explore at your leisure.
Following your winery tour, you can enjoy a guided tasting session. You can even purchase your favourite wines to add to your own wine collection at home.
Vineyard tours in the UK are a special experience due to the unique climate which our experienced tour guides will explain. This is an ideal trip whether you’re a wine expert or this is your first introduction to viticulture and winemaking.
Following your vineyard tour, why not try one of our restaurants.
Our Estate tours are perfect for wine enthusiasts, visitors to Sussex and for those who wish to learn about the winemaking process whilst enjoying a stroll through our beautiful Estate. We have an enthusiastic team of tour guides, each with their own style and perspective to bring our story to life. Many have also worked in the Vineyard so have first hand experience of the hard work it takes to care for each vine.
From grape to glass, our tours walk you through the entire winemaking process as we divulge the secrets of producing English Sparkling Wine, including our English Sparkling Rosé, which is experiencing rising popularity. The Sunday Telegraph described our 2017 vintage as “Ravishing”. The wine tasting aspect is a great opportunity to sample our Sussex wine portfolio and try something new. Your tutored guide will showcase the range and talk you through the tasting notes.
Please note, tours and wine tastings are not suitable for children. Summer tours always include a short walk around the Vineyard unless the weather is poor, whereas winter tours are kept indoors with an exclusive visit to our Bottling building instead where you will see the production line.
Frequently Asked Questions
Due to the alcoholic nature of our product, we advise against bringing children on our vineyard tours. However, children are more than welcome to explore our Cellar Door Shop, enjoy a meal in our restaurants or stay at the Flint Barns when accompanied by an adult. We strictly prohibit the serving of alcohol to minors and will request proof of age if we suspect an individual is below the age of 25.
Our tours vary in price due to the different experiences we have on offer. You can check the booking calendar to see prices for the dates that suit you.
Although there is no formal dress code at Rathfinny Wine Estate, we always advise comfortable clothing and shoes as Vineyard tours often involve walking on uneven terrain.
We always do our best to accommodate anyone with mobility issues. Our Cellar Door shop and restaurants are easily accessible for wheelchair users. Please leave a note on your booking form or contact us directly if you have any mobility concerns so we can make arrangements in advance of your tour.
Yes, if you wish to dine at the Tasting Room prior to, or following your tour, this must be booked separately in advance. The Hut is open 10am – 5pm in the summer and until 4pm in the winter for drop-in light bites and drinks.
Yes, we offer Vineyard tours all year round. Take a look at our booking calendar to find availability that suits you.
Our Vineyard wine tour lasts approximately 1.45 hours. You will be led by an experienced guide who will tell you all about the Rathfinny Wine Estate and the winemaking process. All tours conclude with a tutored tasting session.
For a guided tour and tasting session, we recommend booking your space online. However, there is no booking required for our self-guided tours where you can explore and learn about our location, vines, and wildlife by yourself. Simply pick up a map from The Hut or Cellar Door and explore at your leisure.
Terms & conditions
Wine Tours will continue to run in the event of inclement weather, unless it is deemed unsafe by Rathfinny Wine Estate, in which case you will be offered a credit note. Rathfinny reserves the right to postpone tours as required. We recommend that suitable outdoor activity clothing and footwear is worn. Payment for Tours is due at the time of booking. Tickets are non-refundable, however, we may be able to transfer them to an alternative date with a minimum of four weeks’ notice. We request that everyone maintains social distancing measures throughout the tour and uses the hand sanitiser provided.
If you wish to dine in the Tasting Room restaurant following your tour this must be booked separately in advance and is subject to availability. Book here.
Dogs are not permitted on tours, unless they are guide-dogs.
We welcome walkers to the Estate. Please be aware of your safety and remember that we are a working vineyard, with heavy machinery, and it is really important that you:
- Keep to the path
- Follow the signs at all times
- Keep dogs on leads and clear up their mess
- Take care when crossing roads
- Follow the countryside code
Please park only in designated car parks and not in lay-bys, which are constantly in use.
The Rathfinny Wine Estate is located 2 hours from London Victoria with nearby stations of Berwick and Polegate just a short taxi ride away. We're also very accessible from the seaside towns of Brighton and Eastbourne and just 7 miles from the iconic Seven Sisters Country Park.