Sussex winery Ridgeview was transformed into the perfect location for a collaboration between iconic Brighton fashion designer Gresham Blake, celebrated international crime author Peter James and renowned English actor Ray Winstone. They have all teamed up in an original way to produce a short film commissioned to launch the latest collection SS17 of Gresham Blake’s fashion range.
‘Murder at Ridgeview’ is a tongue-in-cheek story that focuses on the fictional character of a PR representative confronted by a difficult journalist at a Ridgeview Summer garden party, which results in four scenarios of how it may be possible to create the ‘perfect murder’ in a winery.
The idea for the project came from a meeting with Gresham Blake at Ridgeview, exploring how the brands could collaborate. “I wanted to do a crime story to promote my SS17 collection, and Ridgeview winery seemed the perfect location. Peter James is a friend and client so I asked him to write a mini story. He did and being Peter he managed to put in 4 murders” commented Gresham
The fashion shoot which took place last Summer was directed by fashion Photographer Kenny McCracken. They were also joined by various industry friends in the shoot which included Brighton wine merchant Henry Butler and Adam Smith General Manager of Ockenden Manor Hotel.
Peter James remarked “I particularly love Ridgeview and actually served their wine for our own wedding. I came over here with Lara about a year and a half ago to do a tasting, and I thought you know, this would be a great place for a murder!” Ray Winstone and Gresham have partnered-up on various projects so Ray was approached as the ideal narrator for the film. “I like Gresham’s clobber, and this Peter James story is a bit of fun” said Ray.
Mardi Roberts, Sales and Marketing Manager from Ridgeview; “It was such a great project to be involved in. We have been long admirers of Gresham Blake designs and the author Peter James, so this seemed like a fantastic opportunity for our local Brighton based brands to join together in a project with an element of edginess and fun. The addition of Ray was Gresham’s masterstroke!”.
Tamara Roberts, CEO of Ridgeview Wine Estate, was awarded Sussex Business Woman of the Year at Friday night’s ceremony for the Business Women Excellence Awards. The winery also won overall Sussex Business of the Year at the black tie gala dinner at the Hilton Metrolpole in Brighton. The awards are designed to celebrate and recognise the success of today’s very best females in business in Southern England.
Second generation CEO Roberts said of her award: “To be named Sussex Business Woman of the Year was such a lovely surprise, totally unexpected. I was extremely flattered to be nominated by my peers, many of whom are worthy of recognition in their own fields of excellence. To then go on and win the overall Sussex Business and Business Woman of the year was fantastic, recognising the determination and passion we have put into the growth of Ridgeview. Some big thanks go to the support of our wonderful team and to my parents who had the courage to begin this inspiring business at a time when English sparkling wine was relatively unheard of.”
Tamara Roberts took over as CEO of her family business in 2014 and has overseen Ridgeview’s growth of production to nearly 300,000 bottles per annum with plans to double production incrementally over the next 5 years. Tamara is actively involved within the local business community and is on the board of English Wine Producers. She is regularly asked to speak about her experience and the success of Ridgeview at business events. The Wine and Spirit Trade Association earlier in the year held a Parliamentary reception to celebrate ‘Women in Wine’ and this new accolade cements the importance of women who represent 43% of the Wine and Spirits Industry.
Ridgeview are the proud winners of numerous international sparkling wine trophies and their wine is served regularly at Buckingham Palace and the official sparkling wine of No. 10 Downing Street. Leading the way in export of English sparkling wine, Ridgeview can now be found in 12 countries around the world.
Ridgeview is a family company dedicated solely to the production of the highest quality, traditional method sparkling wine from classic Champagne varieties and methods. They celebrated their 20th anniversary in 2015.
In just 15 years of sales Ridgeview has won over 250 medals and 27 trophies in International and National Competitions (awarded English Wine of the Year in 2000, 2002, 2009 & 2010).
In 2010 they were awarded the ultimate accolade for the trophy for best sparkling wine in the world in Decanter World Wine Awards, the only time this trophy has been awarded to a wine outside Champagne.
Their sparkling wine has also been served by Her Majesty at state banquets at Buckingham Palace and for the official Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations including in 2015 at the State Banquet for the Chinese President at Buckingham Palace.
Ridgeview wines were chosen by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson to launch their latest edition of the World Encyclopaedia of Wine in New York.
Founder Mike Roberts (1943-2014) was chair of the English Wine Producers and was awarded an MBE for his services to English wine in 2011.
The second generation of the Roberts family, their daughter Tamara and son Simon, have lead roles in the management and winemaking and continue to develop Ridgeview as a pioneer within the wine industry.
Ridgeview wines are sold in the finest restaurants and speciality retailers throughout the United Kingdom.
Ridgeview export reseller portfolio is rapidly expanding; the wines are sold in 12 countries worldwide including USA, Holland, Japan, Australia and Finland. They currently export 20% of their production & aim to take this further alongside their expansion to increase production to 500,000 bottles by 2020.
February 2015 saw Ridgeview Wine Estate awarded one of DEFRA’s Top 50 Food Stars. 50 Food and Drink Stars was set up in response to the revival of food and drink industries in the UK, and to recognise food and drink entrepreneurs for their contribution to the UK’s economy.
Ridgeview wines were served in the English pavilion, at World Expo in Milan from May to September 2015.
Ridgeview won the Small Business Award of the year at the 2015 Sussex Business Awards, swiftly followed by the Sussex Drink Producer of the Year at the 10th Sussex Food and Drinks Awards, in January 2016.
In 2016 Ridgeview was named Best London and South East Business Family Business of the Year and Best Food and Drink Family Business of the Year in the Family Business United Awards
The official sparkling wine for all No. 10 Downing Street receptions is Ridgeview Bloomsbury.