Rathfinny joins Liberty Wines
We are pleased to be appointed as exclusive agent in Ireland and the UK for Rathfinny, the family-owned Sussex estate established in 2010 by Mark and Sarah Driver.
Rathfinny’s estate vineyard now extends to over 93 hectares in the South Downs, just three miles from the Channel. Lying on a gentle south-facing slope, the site is predominantly planted with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier and benefits from a semi-continental maritime climate and free-draining chalky soils, providing the ideal conditions to ripen grapes for sparkling wine.
Rathfinny uses only estate-grown fruit for their four traditional-method Vintage Sussex sparkling wines: Classic Cuvée, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs and Rosé. The hand-harvested and whole-bunch pressed grapes are vinified with as little intervention as possible, including 24-36 months’ ageing on lees and in bottle to develop rich autolytic notes, and a low dosage to preserve the purest expression of place and vintage.
Mark Driver, co-owner of Rathfinny, says: “It has always been our aim to be one of the on-trade’s favourite English sparkling wines and Liberty Wines, who specialise in selling to both the on-trade and independent off-trade, are a perfect distribution partner for Rathfinny. They supply some of the top hotels, bars and restaurants across Ireland and the UK, many of whom are already serving our wines by the glass. Over the coming years, we hope to deepen those relationships and welcome new customers to our wine estate in Sussex.”
Sarah Driver emphasises the companies’ shared commitment to sustainability and social responsibility: “Rathfinny aims to be a sustainable wine producer, but also socially and environmentally responsible. It is great to be able to partner with an organisation like Liberty Wines. Like us, they hold employee wellbeing, the environment and sustainability at their core and are the first UK wine importer to be carbon neutral. We also take the stewardship of our land seriously. All our buildings are constructed using locally-sourced materials, such as flint from the vineyards, and we have worked with Natural England and the South Downs National Park to implement a programme of improvements to enhance wildlife habitats and reclaim areas of natural chalk grassland, as well as creating wildlife corridors throughout the vineyard.”
Tom Platt, sales director of Liberty Wines, commented: “There is a natural fit between Liberty Wines and Rathfinny, as not only do we share a similar philosophy, but also they complement perfectly our existing English Sparkling portfolio.”
The 2017 vintage sparkling wines from Rathfinny will be released and available through Liberty Wines in April/May this year.
If you would like to know more about Rathfinny, please get in touch with your usual contact or visit the Rathfinny website.
Top image: Sarah and Mark Driver in the Rathfinny Estate Vineyard.