Rathfinny’s website has some fascinating history on how the estate began, and how they’re coping and developing …
… slow, but sure for the vines: seems to be the order of the day – one cannot hurry wine growing or making … be it sparkling or otherwise!
|Cold damp January looking down the valley|
The estate is only three miles from the sea, nestling in Cradle Valley ...
… this part of the South Downs, is one of England’s exceptional natural landscapes … worked since Roman, Saxon and Medieval times …
|Rathfinny's Sussex Sparkling|
Our band of chalk runs under the English Channel surfacing in France as the Paris Basin – where Champagne is produced … however per protected status for the Champagne method, English Rathfinny’s is marketed as Sussex Sparkling …
|Pinot Blanc, Pinot|
Gris - a still wine
We started trying the Cradle Valley wines … they’re the 'still' Sussex wines … and were interesting to learn about – as is the way … I’ve learnt more … but I’ll try and not go waxing lyrical about everything!
|We'd started and I see I hadn't managed to include the fig oil|
here's the hummus and sourdough ... except the green fig oil
is probably in the middle of the Sussex knob!
The tasting menu lunch was delicious and certainly unique – I went off-piste, so to speak, and had vegetarian both for my starter and the main dish … while my brother and SIL chose the same dishes … we had to taste one dessert!
|No idea why it's gone blue! - but|
is an example of flavours - it's
a postcard I've had for ages
Let’s just quickly ‘discuss’ taste … an exploration of the senses: the first experience of something to savour … to be remembered. Then perhaps we add in other ingredients … do they work together … how do we know that they would work?
|Pithiviers - Place du Martroi|
|The pithivier made with Belted Galloway and|
Brighton Blue chees
|Belted Galloway - a healthy looking|
|Allium Sativum 1793|
The family had Belted Galloway pithiviers, Brighton Blue cheese, on charred alliums in an onion broth with rosemary oil … happy times …
|Cubes of slow-cooked celeriac, radicchio tardivo,|
clementine, savoury almond granola, smoked rapeseed
|Bream with cockle butter|
|Quite difficult for you to distinguish|
as it was for me eating ... but all
components were delicious
While I had tiny! nibbles of Crisp Jerusalem artichoke, filled with cheese fondue, quince, polenta and shaved chestnut mushrooms … definitely not enough to share with others! But the flavours were quite extraordinary …
Then we (mostly me!) shared a Sloe gin vanilla frozen parfait, with forced rhubarb … again just very delicious …
|Celereac ... difficult to use - but|
does have a really interesting
flavour - I have cooked with it
|Quince Fruit on branch|
… I looked more into flavour and taste … taste being restricted to the five experiences on the tongue and in the mouth: sweetness, saltiness, sourness, bitterness and ‘unami’ (or savouriness).
|Silver bream on top, with|
common bream below
|Another postcard in blue again|
from years ago -
the flavours of Olive
Back to Rathfinny’s … the website is great and very informative … the whole estate is so professional … yet gave us a very warm welcome … it has ‘a unique spirit of place’ in the beautiful South Downs.
Lots of photos to explain things … but not enough … if you look at the website: there’s so much more … in other words I’m impressed with the place, their vision for the wine industry, the local area and the care of the environment …
Please enjoy and check out their site: Rathfinny's …
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