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Rathfinny Estate Announces the Launch of Its First Sparkling Wines

February 16th, 2018

Rathfinny Wine Estate announced this week that its highly anticipated first sparkling wines will launch at an exclusive event at Somerset House in London on April 24th.

This follows the major production milestone the winery reached this week as the bottles were disgorged – a process whereby the yeast is removed from the wine and the cork is inserted, effectively concluding the winemaking process.

The launch will represent the culmination of eight years of work done since Rathfinny was established in 2010 by Mark and Sarah Driver. It takes place two days before the first Wines of Great Britain annual trade and press tasting at RHS Lindley Hall in London on April 26th.

The two wines to be launched will be a Blanc de Blancs 2014 and a sparkling Rosé 2015. They have been produced in accordance with Sussex P.D.O. guidelines, say the winery.


“Quality ‘Sussex’ Sparkling wine requires at least three years to mature in the bottle to develop all those complex flavours,” said Mark Driver, co-owner of Rathfinny. “I’ve had to learn to be patient, but we’re very proud of our first sparkling wines. They taste delicious.”

Mr Driver has high hopes for the future of Rathfinny, and Sussex sparkling wine in general: “Our ambition is that in twenty years’ time you will walk into a bar or restaurant in New York or Beijing and you’ll be asked, ‘would you like a glass of Champagne or a delicious glass of Sussex? I can recommend the Rathfinny.’”

Rathfinny sparkling wines will be produced in an initially limited quantity and will be sold “on allocation, certainly for the first three years,” writes Mr Driver under a blog post about the disgorging. Harpers report that most of the new bottles will be sold to on-trade accounts such as hotels and restaurants.