The Rathfinny Estate – self-declared sunniest vineyard on the South Downs. Heir to the great legacy of Champagne and dedicated to producing the finest wines – WBC product developer Gerry Moss recently had the privilege to pay them a visit. He talks us through the merchandising of their new show-stopping café/deli and see first hand the growth of an English wine estate with high hopes to see some 400 acres of vines planted by 2020.
Located near Alfriston in East Sussex in what is locally known as the “secret valley” Rathfinny lies within three miles of the English Channel. Its location gives it a maritime climate that provides the ideal soil and weather conditions for producing both the finest grapes and outstanding quality wine.
All of us here at WBC are avid wine appreciators, so it’s excellent to hear that within the next five years Rathfinny Estate will secure 160 hectares of land to plant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier vines. That’s no mean feat; we’re inspired by the passion and dedication of the new wine makers that are putting British bubbly on the map!
Read what the press are saying about Rathfinny
While the farm continues to grow, the lovely folk at Rathfinny have also opened up a beautifully restored retail outlet called the Gun Room located on the Tye in Alfriston. This village shop used to be the gun store for none other than the Duke of Wellington. It’s charming and sophisticated and comprises a rich design of old and new, which only serves to compliment the winery itself. We have been delighted to work with Nikki Roucher at Rathfinny to help her create a very special retail look to her shop.
Retail display units like the Kingsley Risers are helping Rathfinny create elevation and bring an architecture to their displays. Display fixture and fittings, handsomely constructed of distressed wood and metal bring together a rustic modern look that’s both contemporary yet warm – inviting while giving a nod to yester-year.
With a slight hand of DIY, the Rathfinny team stained our small wooden slatted boxes to fit their rustic look. It’s a reminder that what you buy off the peg, doesn’t have to stay that way. Think outside the box and you can save yourself hefty bespoke fees by purchasing merchandising solutions from a standard range then customising to fit your unique space.
Our retail prop sourcing team helped Rathfinny create an umbrella stand using a vintage galvanised grape crate from our online Prop Shop – this clever merchandising accessory has oodles of charm and is so on brand for Rathfinny.
We love the look of old verses new and wood verses metal, that’s probably why it features so heavily in our own retail display lines. But mixing is also a clever move, you never need to throw things away or rack up a huge bill with a complete refit. This is a classic example of visual merchandising that showcases a few ideas together, which looks really smart.
While the sack barrow trolleys above, usually hold fruit and vegetables for most retailers, we think Rathfinny’s choice to use these fixtures for displaying tea towels, textiles and throws, shows you just how versatile retail props can be – always there to help create a look that’s premium.
Below, Rathfinny has taken an antique French bottle-drying stand, icons for winery from the online retail Prop Shop. And with a bit of clever merchandising, what was once a traditional piece with specific purpose takes on a whole new utilitarian identity. We love it!
Old vintage step ladders are fun and functional, so wherever you find them – snap them up fast, because they always sell quickly and always work well. Here Rathfinny use them to display cards and stationery. Simple, but effective.
Last but not least, helping to further drive sales and promote the new shop, the Estate printed some beautiful eco-friendly tote bags using our India Express Service. Contemporary in design, and because who doesn’t need a ‘bags for life’, we’re sure these shopping bags will fly off the shelves.
We love what Rathfinney has achieved already, and we’re proud to have played a small part in supplying retail display and merchandising props, as well as some fixtures and fittings. Pay them a visit sometime; we’re absolutely sure you’ll come away equally inspired.