Sussex, England’s Vineyard: Ridgeview Winery
Their wines have been Served at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, state visits by foreign dignitaries like former US president Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping, and currently the official sparkling wine of 10 Downing Street, Ridgeview Winery has had remarkable success in cultivating their market. Now Ridgeview has been awarded Winemaker of the Year 2018, the business has gone from strength to strength.
Ridgeview is paving the way for the English wine industry to be recognised on a global scale. As well as earning the title of Winemarker of the Year 2018 at this year’s prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition, Ridgeview also won ‘English Producer of the Year’ and ‘English Wine of the Year’. Following a hugely successful evening with the highlight of winning the wine equivalent of the Oscars, CEO Tamara Roberts commented on this impressive win for the Ridgeview family:
Being recognised as the Winemaker of the Year shows just what can be done when quality is at the heart of everything you do
Based near Ditchling Common, East Sussex, Ridgeview Winery stands highly esteemed in the wine world for its excellent quality and refined sensibility. A family owned and operated winery, Ridgeview does not shy away from its roots, as the journey that got them to not only be established producers of quality, sparkling wine, but influential players in this growing field.
Becoming one of the most decorated and widely praised producers in the country today was only a dream in 1995 when they first started by Mike and Chris Roberts, now being led by Tamara Roberts, where it was a passion to tailor the vine-dressing, recognising the strength in simplicity in both creating wine and creating a business within the family.
Named after the beautiful view that the vineyard has of the Sussex South Downs, with the main site covering over 6.48 hectares, it has always been about the location.
Whilst the location has similar properties to the Champagne region in France, with mild, maritime climate and favourable calcareous soil conditions, Ridgeview’s wine has retained a particular English taste, coming down to their process of minimal intervention and nurturing the wine that has made them into such an award winning brand, including Best Sparkling Wine In The World.
Whilst creating sparkling wines for the Wine Society, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer, Ridgeview’s personal collection has been the most rewarded and rewarding to create.
By picking the most nuanced and complex flavour profiles and continual testing, with Simon Roberts continuing the legacy that Mike Roberts sadly left behind as Head Winemaker, from yield to bottle, including their signature Ridgeview Bloomsbury, which has recently won International Wine Challenge Awards 2017.
Exporting into the US, Japan and all over Europe, English wine is now surpassing many supposed bastions of sparkling wine, and with Ridgeview leading the way in wine, business (Tarama Roberts won Sussex Business Woman of the Year) and horticulture winning the inaugural award for Viticulture Grower of the Year 2017 for their excellence and sustainable practices.
According to the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, nearly two-thirds of all domestic wine produced in the country is Sparking Wine, winning international awards and acclaim with Marks and Spencer as of 2017 stating that there is a growth of 15% year on year sales. Ridgeview has begun to build a new winery to grow its production, planning to produce up to 400,000 bottles by the year 2020. With the growth of English sparkling wine sales growing year on year, Ridgeview’s story has only just started.