After eight years of planning, planting, winemaking and ageing, Rathfinny Wine Estate will release its first Sussex sparkling wines – a Blanc de Blancs 2014 and a Rosé Brut 2015 – to the trade on June 1.
The estate was established in 2010 by husband and wife Mark and Sarah Driver on the site of a working arable farm.
Rathfinny’s first Sussex sparkling wines, produced conforming to the strict Sussex PDO guidelines, which ensure provenance as well as quality, were bottled in early 2015.
They were launched at Somerset House on April 24.
Brand Ambassador Rob Buckhaven said, “We’re proud of our first sparkling wines and to be launching onto the world stage at such a pivotal moment in the trajectory of English sparkling wines is beyond exciting.
“Our 2014 Blanc de Blancs, made from 100 percent Chardonnay has been aged for 36 months on the yeast lees. It has wonderful aromas of peach on the nose, with a delicate citrus-fresh palate.
“The 2015 Rathfinny Rosé has a stunning light-coral tone, a nose of Chantilly cream-drizzled strawberries and a long, elegant peachy finish.”
Mark Driver said, “It’s taken eight years of hard work to get to this point. It’s fantastic to share our first sparkling wines with everyone.
“They are a superb reflection of our fantastic terroir. We want to thank everyone who has worked so hard over the last eight years to get us to this point. It’s been worth it.”
An export plan will involve Rathfinny selling up to 50 per cent of production to overseas markets in Europe, Asia and North America.