The Flint Barns, which will accommodate 46 workers, will be ready for next year. The proposal has required prolonged negotiations with the South Downs National Park Planning Authority and Wealden District Council, according to estate owner Mark Driver, who suggested the offer of board, accommodation and pay would appeal to students and those looking for a working holiday.
He wrote on his blog: "Our vineyard manager Cameron doesn't believe that we can find 50 people a day who will be willing to work hard. However, I'm more optimistic and think we British will prove him wrong."
The vineyard has also taken on a landscape and environmental officer, Richard James, who has 15 years' experience working in conservation and land management in the South Downs and has also worked for the Wine Society.
Rathfinny is expected to become England's largest vineyard over the next seven years as it expands to cover 160ha to supply its sparkling wine production.