About this WINE
Rathfinny Wine Estate is a vineyard and winery in Sussex, England. The first vines were planted in 2012 by owners Mark and Sarah Driver, who bought the property (then a farm growing cereals) in 2010. The estate sits on a south-facing slope of chalk soils in the South Downs, just three miles from the English Channel. Rathfinny produces a range of vintage-only English sparkling wines using the traditional method.
Located in southern England, Sussex has emerged as a promising region for wine production in recent years.
The country's cool climate and chalky soil, reminiscent of the renowned Champagne region in France, have created favourable conditions for vineyards to flourish.
Winemaking in Sussex focuses on sparkling wines made from traditional methods using classic grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.