English winemaker plans to sell bubbly in 'pint bottles' after Brexit

An English winemaker is preparing to sell its sparkling wine in a pint bottle after Britain leaves the EU.

Rathfinny Estate has already laid down more than 800 pints bottles of its 2015 Blanc de Noirs which will be ready for drinking next year.

The measure, known as the ‘Sussex Pint’, is roughly equivalent to 50cl rather than the traditional 75cl.

It is thought by many to be a more approriate size for bubbly as it provides four glasses rather than six and was described by Winston Churchill as the “ideal size”.

The move will mean the imperial measure is sold after Brexit for the first time since 1973, when Britain’s decision to join the European Economic Community meant they were banned in favour of metric measures.

Ideal size’ – the pint bottles are thought to be just the right size for sparkling wine (Picture: Rathfinny Estate)

Mark Driver, co-owner of Rathfinny Estate​ ​with his wife Sarah, said: “It is such a perfect size – you get four proper glasses from it – as opposed to six from a full bottle, which is often too much for a couple and only three from a half bottle, which is very unsatisfactory.

“As Churchill said a pint is the ideal size if you are at home and want a drink – or out at a restaurant as an aperitif.”


He added: “The great thing about the modern ‘pint’ (50cl) or the ‘Sussex Pint’ as we’re calling it, is that you can bottle ferment in this sized bottle, something you can’t do with a half bottle (37.4cl), so the quality is maintained.

“No matter what your thoughts on leaving the EU, one benefit will be the ability to sell sparkling wine in a pint-sized bottle.”

Collector’s item – Mark and Sarah Driver think the bottles will be a hit (Picture: Rathfinny Estate)

Even though the Rathfinny pint will be ready next year, it is unlikely the pint bottles will be on sale before 2021 as EU rules prohibit sparkling wine sales to fixed sizes of 37.5cl, 75cl and multiples of 75cl.

“We may not be able to sell it but there is nothing to stop us giving it away,” said Mark. “Although our COO is a bit nervous that he might get arrested!

“If early tastings are anything to go by, it will be a collector’s item.”

(Top picture: Getty)