Scorpion deliver two outstanding buildings for the Rathfinny Wine Estate, and is now keen to hear from other vineyards considering construction projects both large and small.
Rathfinny, located in the South Downs national park, formally opened its two new buildings on 9 May 2018.
The opening was well attended by owners and representatives from a number of the largest and most influential vineyards in the UK. To carry out the formal ceremony, HRH Princess Anne was in attendance adding her valued support to the rapidly growing UK wine industry.
The first phase of construction involved the erection of the main press and visitor / tasting rooms. Scorpion’s involvement started in the summer of 2017, requiring the demolition of an existing building, some cut and fill groundworks, and the construction of circa 54,000 square feet across two new buildings, one to be used for bottle processing and another for bottle storage.
Alongside the usual steel frame and cladding Scorpion has constructed mezzanine levels with kitchen, welfare and toilet facilities, in addition to loading bays, concrete aprons, and flint walling to the exterior. The new multi-million pound facility will enable Rathfinny to bottle up to 80,000 cases of wine a year.
The complete package
The project is a demonstration of Scorpion’s newly expanded operational expertise. Although steel frame and cladding for agriculture is central to the company’s 40+ year history, it now offer a full turnkey solution. Regulatory changes regarding CDM, Health & Safety, CE Marking, and additional statutory burdens associated with modern construction requires the company to be well equipped to offer clients the complete package.
“We are truly thrilled at being associated with such a prestigious investment in the UK’s burgeoning viticulture industry,” said Andre van Heerden, managing director at Scorpion. “Scorpion is open for business for any projects where we can provide full turnkey solutions for our valued customers. The Rathfinny project was at a scale quite unique in the industry but we are very happy to be considered for projects both large and small.”
Mark Driver, the inspiration behind the Rathfinny Wine Estate along with wife Sarah, said: “We chose Scorpion because they came highly recommended. The project was priced competitively and the firm has a proven track record in controlled atmosphere buildings. We have been very impressed with Scorpion as they have a practical outlook to building, so I’d be happy to recommend them to other wine producers in the UK.”
Local office – local service
The growth of UK wine in the South East of England and Scorpion’s long-term involvement in the fruit storage sector in the region prompted the decision in late 2017 to open up a regional office in Sussex on the Glynde Estate, near Lewes. The office now offers a comprehensive service including sales, estimating and contract management, to provide the region with the very best service from initial enquiry through to completion. Regional development manager Matt Wickham said: “This is a very exciting time for the Scorpion and D&D brands as we complete our transition from a steel frame and cladding farm building company to a fully resourced, service-led construction company.”
In addition to the South East office Scorpion have two other regional offices, one in Romsey, Hampshire, and the other in Marlborough, Wiltshire.