Work has started on the construction of the winery for what is set to be England’s biggest vineyard and winery project to date.
Rathfinny Estate’s winery, in East Sussex, will also be the most environmentally friendly in the country, according to owner Mark Driver, a former City hedge fund manager. The £10m project will release sparkling wines in 2016 and still wines two years earlier, having planted its first 20 hectares of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Riesling this spring.
The 240ha estate near Alfriston will use sustainable design for the winery, low carbon technologies and photo-voltaic cells to generate electricity, as well as planting wild flowers on its roof and sourcing water from its own bore hole.
‘We have taken an uncompromising approach to ensure that it will be one of the most high-tech and environmentally friendly wineries in the world,’ said Driver.