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Major English vineyard proposition brings on board new brand ambassador

Published:  15 November, 2016

Rathfinny Estate has appointed a new brand ambassador to drive awareness of the Sussex winery ahead of the launch of its first sparkler in 2018.

Rob Buckhaven joins Rathfinny from Boisdale Restaurants where he was a wine buyer, to drive awareness of the winery ahead of its initial release.

Rathfinny, one of the largest single estate vineyards in England, has the capability to produce "over a million bottles" at its South Downs winery.

The sparkling wine producer cemented itself as a key player when it announced it would export over 50% of its production overseas, with plans to export to Europe, Asia and North America already in place.

Buckhaven has been brought on board by Mark Driver, who gave up managing a multi-bollion dollar hedge fund in 2010 to plant and run the new vineyard along with his wife Sarah.

Buckhaven has been given the job to bring further awareness of Rathfinny to the trade in the run-up to its initial release in 2018.

"Joining the Rathfinny team at such a pivotal time in the English sparkling wine story is incredibly exciting. Rathfinny is set to be a real powerhouse within the English wine category, from the innovative and ambitious work they are doing on their estate through to driving forward the Sussex PDO application," Buckhaven said.

The 600-acre estate is on a south-facing slope in East Sussex, three miles from the sea, and grown on chalk soils.

Head winemaker is Jonathan Medard, originally from Champagne, who along with New Zealand's Cameron Roucher manage the estate.

With a background in wine writing and presenting, Buckhaven previously worked as senior brand manager for Torres and is currently wine columnist for the Metro.