September 11th, 2017
Rathfinny Estate, the major English sparkling wine producer located in East Sussex, has appointed Gonzalez Byass UK as its exclusive UK distributor with immediate effect.
Rathfinny is one of the newest and largest single estate vineyards in England, with a RIBA-nominated, state of the art winery. Its first sparkling wines, a Blanc de Blancs and a Rosé, are set to be released in June 2018.
Established in 2010 by ex-Hedge Fund Manager Mark Driver and his wife Sarah, herself an ex-City Solicitor, Rathfinny has developed from a working arable farm to its current incarnation as one of the most significant sparkling wine producers in the country.
Announcing the distribution partnership, Mark Driver commented, “we are delighted to be embarking on this exciting journey with Gonzalez Byass. Having had numerous recommendations citing their professionalism, outstanding level of service and focus on ‘family’, once we met with Martin and the team, we felt an immediate affinity and knew right away they understood our brand”.
Sarah Driver continued, “our business revolves around building relationships and our partnership feels right. We very much admire the other family-owned producers in their portfolio, most of whom have been with them for many years. In addition, we have close ties with Spain so the connection feels very natural.”
Martin Skelton, Managing Director of Gonzalez Byass UK stated, “we are extremely proud to be working as exclusive UK distributors for Rathfinny Estate. Rathfinny will become one of England’s most important sparkling wine producers and my colleagues and I are excited to be a part of that journey. I really admire what Mark and Sarah have achieved; the attention to detail in every aspect of the brand, their empathy in including the local community in their project, together with their foresight and energy in furthering the category by driving the Sussex PDO. I see them as leading lights and exemplary in the industry.”
Rathfinny joins a Gonzalez Byass UK portfolio of winemaking jewels including Quinta do Noval, Champagne Deutz, Domaine Zind Humbrecht, Wirra Wirra, Jackson Estate as well as Gonzalez Byass Sherry and owned wineries such as Bodegas Beronia and Veramonte.
Melissa Draycott, Gonzalez Byass’ Sales Director concluded, “having had a pre-release tasting of Rathfinny’s wines, I can honestly say they are some of the finest English sparkling wines I’ve ever tasted, and I can’t wait for the trade’s reaction when we launch in June next year. In my view, the chalk soil of the Sussex Downs has imparted a terrific minerality, which together with a round and supple house style, makes Rathfinny a unique proposition.”