Ridgeview has been proclaimed as Viticulture Grower of the Year in Horticulture Week’s Annual Grower of the Year Awards. Hosted at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London, the awards gathered over 500 professionals to celebrate the very best of UK production horticulture. As proof of how far the English wine industry has progressed Grower of the Year Awards introduced a category for Viticulture for the first time in 2017. There are now over 500 vineyards in the UK producing over 5 million bottles per year and the land under vine in England in 2017 is set to increase by 18%.
Ridgeview have been pioneering in English sparkling viticulture since their foundation in 1995. Established by Mike and Chris Roberts they were one of the first to identify the potential of Southern England as a world class sparkling wine producing region. The viticultural map of the UK has changed dramatically in Ridgeview’s life time. Cool climate wine production is challenging and Ridgeview have learnt to adapt processes and techniques to reflect this. From the onset, Ridgeview have been committed to sustainable practices in viticulture and are widely regarded for their dedication to quality and innovation.
Ridgeview’s Viticulture Grower of the Year award was accepted by Vineyard Manager Matt Strugnell, who has managed Ridgeview’s home estate and has assisted many of their partnership vineyards for over 15 years. Matt has been instrumental in the care and attention to detail of the vineyard and passionate about the production of the very best grapes possible.
Quote from Matt: ‘This was the first time that viticulture has been recognised by an award in the UK, and to be the recipient was a real honour and something of which I am very proud. Managing one of the leading vineyards in the English sparkling wine revival has its challenges but has been so rewarding. This award is a great acknowledgment of Ridgeview’s innovation and progression in the last 20 years. ‘
Ridgeview now export 20% of production to 13 countries around the world and their sparkling wines have been used on many prestigious occasions including served by the Queen to President Obama and the Chinese State President. This success could not have happened without the raw material of grapes being of the highest quality and Ridgeview are thrilled for this to be acknowledged by Grower of the Year Awards.
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Matt Strugnell – Ridgeview Vineyard Manager, Luke Spalding – Ridgeview Vineyard Assistant accepting
‘Viticulture Grower of the Year Award’ from compare Jo Caulfield at the Horticulture Week Grower of the Year Awards
Notes for editors: Ridgeview Wine Estate:
- 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 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 the World Encyclopaedia of Wine in New York.
- Founder Mike Roberts (1943-2014) chaired English Wine Producers and awarded an MBE in 2011 for his services to English
- 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 won the Small Business Award of the year at the 2015 Sussex Business Awards, in 2016 Ridgeview was named Best London and South East Business 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.
- Ridgeview’s CEO Tamara Roberts named Sussex Business Woman of the Year ‘Business Women in Excellence Awards 2016’
- Ridgeview winemaking team are behind the production of Great Windsor Park Sparkling wine, managed by Laithwaites within Her Majesty’s Windsor Estate