Supporting Hospitality Action

When we are all facing such uncertain times there is one certainty: we must stick together. With such a constant and dramatically moving landscape, we are particularly concerned for all our friends in hospitality, when all their futures changed overnight as restaurants and hotels were closed. Hospitality Action is a charity that have been supporting the UK hospitality trade for over 180 years, helping hospitality people in difficulty or crisis.

Hospitality Action (HA) are co-ordinating an industry-wide emergency appeal to support impacted workers who can apply for a one off-grant of £250 for immediate help.  This appeal has raised over £ 123,000 so far, however they are still overwhelmed with applications. The more money raised, the more hospitality workers they can support.

Ridgeview will donate £2 for every bottle of Ridgeview Sparkling Wine sold online until the end of May to Hospitality Action. All orders no matter how big or small will be delivered free of charge across the UK with £2 for every bottle going direct to the charity.

In such difficult times it is our hope that a little Ridgeview sparkling might be able to brighten up the end of your day or bring a little joy to your weekend. Ridgeview are now offering free of charge next day delivery (excluding weekends) on all bottles, no minimum quantities apply.

Join us to help support Hospitality Action as well as our small business of home grown English sparkling wine #wevegotyou

*(excludes OurView Wine Club member orders)

Ridgeview Covid-19 Update

Dear Friends of Ridgeview

As is everyone else, we are keeping informed of developments as the situation regarding Covid-19 continues to evolve. Our heart goes out those who have been affected by the virus and all our friends and supporters who face so much uncertainty.

We have been rigorously following the recommendations of Public Health England and as ever our focus is always on exceptional levels of hygiene across all areas of the business. Fortunately we have had no instances of our employees or anyone on our premises contracting the virus.

However after considering the new government updated guidelines, Ridgeview has made the following decision to minimise impact on our customers and team:

Ridgeview Tasting Room, Cellar Door and Tours are now closed to the public until further notice.

 Our priority at this time is to ensure that we can continue to produce the highest quality wine and keep our warehouse and website up-and-running to deliver to our customers.

Any upcoming Tours & Tastings will be postponed and if you have a booking with us, we will be in contact regarding this. For those that have gift vouchers that are nearing expiry, please contact us (retail@ridgeview.co.uk) so that we can ensure you are able to visit later in the year.

Our retail team continue to be available to assist with wine orders, wine club advice and general enquiries via phone, email or the Ridgeview website. Our full range of wines are also available to order online www.ridgeview.co.uk/shop with our new Complimentary Next-Day delivery service for all orders not matter how big or small!

We are all in this together and feel confident that our customers may need a little sparkle in the lives from time-to-time to see them through. We thank you for your ongoing support and loyalty and hope to welcome you back to Ridgeview very soon.

 The Ridgeview Team

Celebrating 25 Years of Ridgeview in 2020

2020 is set to be a tremendous year for Ridgeview as we celebrate 25 years since foundation, headed up by the second generation of the Roberts family Ridgeview has been a influential force in the incredible evolution of English Sparkling Wine since our inception 25 years ago.

Throughout 2020 we will be thanking those that have been a part of our past, as well as nurturing the next generation of industry pioneers and wine enthusiasts. In Spring the new winery will officially open, allowing production to double in order to keep up with demand, and May will also see an exciting new label launched to the collection. We will also celebrating long term partnerships, vineyard dinners with fabulous chefs, restaurant collaborations, export visits including a stand at the World’s leading wine trade fair Prowein, and of course, Ridgeview’s annual summer festival Ridgefest will be back, bigger and better than ever in August – general tickets have just been released on their website and are selling very fast.

Tamara Roberts, CEO, says ‘We are very excited to celebrate Ridgeview’s 25th Anniversary in 2020. In a quarter of a century, through dedication, hard work and fun we have built our reputation as one of England’s leading sparkling wine producers whilst remaining true to our values both as a family and as a business. We’re looking forward to a year full of celebrations with all the people that have been a part of Ridgeview’s journey, while also looking forward to the next 25 years by helping shape the future generation of the English wine industry.’

As well as the larger activations, Ridgeview will also be focusing on sharing everyday moments that matter, tying in with its motto ‘Life is for Celebrating’ (which can be found on a message revealed inside the opening foil on every bottle). Whether with family or friends, we firmly believes that the some of the smaller moments deserve a toast just as much as the classic celebratory milestones. Whether it’s moving into your new home, baby’s first steps, celebrating friendship or finishing a project at work, we invite people to share the moments that matter to them as Ridgeview is for sharing and ‘Life is for Celebrating’.

Information on all the celebrations will be released in more detail throughout the year, and the Ridgeview website will be regularly updated on news as it breaks.

A small film Ridgeview has produced for social media with thoughts on ‘Celebrating 25 years of Ridgeview’ can be found here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njg7Ct–ugs

Our New Winery Three is Up and Running!

We are thrilled to share with you that our new Winery and cellars are now fully operational. This will take our sustainable underground cellar capacity to over One million bottles. We still have work to do on landscaping, for it to be ready in time for our official opening in 2020. We will be celebrating Ridgeview’s 25th Anniversary in 2020 so the timing couldn’t be better.

Enormous thanks for the financial support provided by the Rural Payments Agency, using funds jointly provided by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural development and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Thanks also go out to our amazing builders, Axio (Special Works) Ltd; BLB Surveyors, the Ridgeview Project team and Clydesdale Bank. We couldn’t have done this without you all.

As a thank you we will be placing a plaque on our new winery.

Ridgeview CEO’s Tamara Roberts Named Sussex Businessperson of the Year

This week, Ridgeview’s CEO Tamara Roberts was awarded ‘Sussex Business Person of the Year’ at a ceremony hosted by the Sussex Business Awards at the Grand Hotel in Brighton. Celebrating 31 years in 2019, the Sussex Business Awards are one of the most sought-after accolades in the region. Tamara was honoured to accept the award, particularly as the Sussex business scene is thriving and there are a lot of leaders that Tamara admires and respects.

“Hard work and bloody mindedness does pay off but only if you have the support of family, friends and a fantastic team” commented Tamara on receipt of the outstanding award.

This follows on from a roll of recent fantastic achievements including Tamara being announced as the new International Wine & Spirit Competition president for 2020. The appointment is a respected honour and Tamara is excited to be taking on this new role, particularly as the first English producer to do so:

‘It is an incredible honour to be selected for such a leading role in the International Wine Industry, not only to represent Ridgeview but also to highlight the growth & aspirations of our exciting English Wine Industry. 25 years ago, my father started Ridgeview with the vision and ambition that England could produce sparkling wines to compete with the very best in the world, changing the course of the English Wine Industry forever. This is a perfect opportunity to celebrate his legacy and the sparkling future that lies ahead for our industry’.

Tamara joined her family business Ridgeview as General Manager in 2004 and became CEO in 2014. She has overseen the growth of production in that time from 25k bottles per annum to 400k bottles, as well as overseeing the conception and construction of a brand new winery and cellar, which will allow production to double from 2020. As well as devoting herself to Ridgeview, Tamara is very well respected throughout the English Wine Industry and sits on the board of Wines of Great Britain and the Wine & Spirit Trade Association.
Ridgeview will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary in 2020 and over this quarter of a century they have built their reputation as a one of England’s leading sparkling wine producers which was illuminated on this prestigious International Wine stage in 2018 when they were crowned ‘International Winemaker of the Year’ in 2018.

Ridgeview’s CEO Tamara Roberts Announced as IWSC President 2020

On the special 50th anniversary of the annual International Wine & Spirit Competition Awards in London, Tamara Roberts, CEO of Ridgeview, was announced as the IWSC President for 2020. This is the first time that an English wine producer has been selected as the President, a testament to the rising global status of the English Wine Industry. The president is selected for their stature and reputation in the industry, acting as an embodiment of the competition’s key goal of recognising quality wines and spirits throughout the world. The ceremony was attended by Tamara’s family and colleagues and was indeed a huge cause for celebration.

The appointment is a respected honour and Tamara is excited to be taking on this new role, particularly as the first English producer to do so: ‘It is an incredible honour to be selected for such a leading role in the International Wine Industry, not only to represent Ridgeview but also to highlight the growth & aspirations of our exciting English Wine Industry. 25 years ago, my father started Ridgeview with the vision and ambition that England could produce sparkling wines to compete with the very best in the world, changing the course of the English Wine Industry forever. This is a perfect opportunity to celebrate his legacy and the sparkling future that lies ahead for our industry’.

Tamara joined her family business Ridgeview as General Manager in 2004 and became CEO in 2014. She has overseen the growth of production in that time from 25k bottles per annum to 400k bottles, as well as overseeing the conception and construction of a brand new winery and cellar, which will allow production to double from 2020. Tamara is a qualified chartered accountant and is responsible for the financial management of the business as well as setting and implementing the strategy across all other areas, from grape to glass. As well as devoting herself to Ridgeview, Tamara is very well respected throughout the English Wine Industry and sits on the board of Wines of Great Britain and the Wine & Spirit Trade Association.
In an interview with IWSC following the announcement, Tamara remarked on what could be expected from her upcoming presidency, in particular her desire to bring females in the industry further into the spotlight. She’ll also be highlighting the work involved with being part of the burgeoning English wine industry, particularly ‘the opportunities, the threats, the future, and where I feel our industry is going to move to – and perhaps bring in some of the global issues surrounding the world of wine in terms of sustainability and climate change, which is going to be so high on the agenda’.

Ridgeview will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary in 2020 and over this quarter of a century they have built their reputation as a one of England’s leading sparkling wine producers which was illuminated on this prestigious International Wine stage in 2018 when they were crowned ‘International Winemaker of the Year’ in 2018.

CEO & EA of The Year – MDHUB Awards

Ridgeview have taken double accolades in the MDHUB awards with Tamara Roberts awarded CEO of the Year and Esther Dawson PA of the Year. MDHUB is the premier peer to peer business growth network for Managing Directors in Southern England. Tamara has been an active member for 7 years and has valued the peer support of like-minded entrepreneurial leaders.

In the Judges’ comments on what it takes to be a CEO of the Year highlighted that it was Tamara’s “extraordinary resilience, tenacity, creativity, humanity and sheer bloody determination to make the business work was what made her shine.” They were impressed with Tamara’s recent accolades:

  • – Sussex Business Woman of the Year in 2015 at the Business Women in Excellence Awards
  • – International Business Women of the Year in 2017 at the Women in Excellence Awards
  • – In 2019 the 33rd most influential person in the wine industry Drinks Retailing Magazine
  • – 2nd in the Power List of the English Wine Industry in the Grocer Magazine
  • – On the Board of WSTA, Wines GB and Sussex University Business & Economics School
  • – And probably what she’s most proud of… Burgess Hill Rugby Club – Volunteer of the Year

On top of Ridgeview acclaimed as the current ‘International Winemakers of the Year’ and voted number 36 Vineyard in the World to visit.

Tamara commented “I am absolutely thrilled to be awarded this amongst my MDHUB peers, truly unexpected and I am so very thankful to the Hub for the support in getting Ridgeview where it is today.”

Esther Dawson joined Ridgeview as Tamara’s Executive Assistant in 2014. Tamara was so pleased for Esther’s tireless support to be recognised; “Esther is not just an amazing EA but has also managed our HR function and helped implement many changes in this area to increase employee engagement. Esther is an absolutely incredible person who thoroughly deserves this recognition and more”. Esther also has co-established the thriving Sussex PA Network, holding supportive networking events, sharing best practice and ideas.

We are incredibly proud of them both and fortunate to have such an inspiring leadership team at Ridgeview.

Harvest 2019

Simon Roberts – Ridgeview Winemaker & Matt Strugnell – Ridgeview Vineyard Manager

Off the back of the glorious 2018 growing season which delivered fantastic quality in both yield and volume, the bar had been set very high for the 2019 vintage. The season started very well with a relatively mild winter, followed by limited frost risk in Spring and normal timing for budburst. Early growing conditions were unsettled with swings between cool and hot spells of weather, but fortunately we were blessed with great flowering weather which resulted in excellent fruit set.  The remaining summer was again a mixed bag; cool wet spells followed by mini heatwaves. Canopy management and vigilance was needed as disease pressure was high. The ripening phase probably saw the most consistent period of good weather; lots of sunshine and warm temperatures right up until the end of September.

We were then faced with one of the wettest Octobers that we can recall in our 24 year history. The challenge then became co-ordinating picking dates to avoid the rain and making sure the grapes had time to dry out before pressing. We were fortunate that our experienced enabled us to get our Ridgeview grapes in between spells of the changeable weather. Our Pinots came in first with very large bunches and good to average yield, the Pinot Meunier being a particular highlight. The Chardonnay needed a little longer on the vine and came in lovely and clean with sugars and acidity a little lower than normal. Grapes from the various sites over the South East have been variable, the earlier ripening vineyards have done really well whereas those later ripening and higher altitude have struggling a little in the wet weather. 2019 was a year when we could say experience really mattered. Our cool climate can throw us challenges and this is a year where we can proudly say that our care and due diligence in the vineyard really paid off. We have had the result of good volumes of clean grapes with nice concentration of phenolic flavours.

Start of the Home Run

BY OUR RIDGEVIEW VINEYARD MANAGER MATT STRUGNELL

We were lucky the weather was kind to us for flowering which helps determine our crop size. This all happened towards the end of June and the bunches we now see are filling out with berries. August has been a bit hit and miss, so we have been working hard to keep the vine canopy neat and tidy; by tucking the shoots into foliage ‘catch’ wires, and by trimming the tops and sides.

Tidy vines make them look great, but it also plays an important role in helping our grapes ripen to a perfect condition. By keeping the canopy neat we are reducing shade and humidity which helps reduce the risk of fungal diseases. Also, the canopy is capturing as much sunshine as possible which is essential for ripening the crop.

Moving through August we have seen the start of another change, which is veraison. This is easy to spot on the Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier as the skins start to change colour from green, through pink to red. By the time they are harvested they will have turned almost black. This is not so obvious in Chardonnay, but they will start to turn from green to a golden colour and the berries start to have a more translucent appearance.

The end of veraison signals the start of ripening, and therefore we are on the home run before harvest begins. This certainly won’t be like 2018 which has been described as a once in a generation year, however it is looking incredibly promising though!

Ridgeview Celebrated on USA TV

Ridgeview’s place in the global wine scene was bolstered following American CBS Channel airing a story filmed onsite at the winery. The TV news piece celebrated Ridgeview’s global accolades as current ‘International Winemaker of the Year’ in the International Wine and Spirit Competition, and Number 36 in the Top 50 Vineyards in the World; the only English wine producer to feature in this global list.

On the back of Ridgeview’s International Award success, we were contacted by the leading USA broadcaster for a piece on the coveted CBS This Morning Saturday Program. The program is available to watch on CBS – a network that has almost 9 million primetime viewers.

Ridgeview’s strong international presence was elevated further this spring when Simon Roberts, Head Winemaker, travelled to the USA to fulfil a series of engagements. Simon presented on English sparkling wine at Google’s HQ before heading down to Los Angeles for Effervescence, the premier Champagne and sparkling wine event in America. From there Simon travelled, sampling Ridgeview with over twenty restaurants throughout California, Nashville and New York.

Ridgeview’s foray into the USA has resulted in the exciting new listing of Bloomsbury, Fitzrovia in Thomas Keller’s globally acclaimed three-star Michelin The French Laundry revered wine list – the only English wines to do so. Ridgeview were also recently awarded two Gold Medals in the coveted USA Texsom International Wine Awards the only English Winery to achieve Gold & Judges Selection for the Limited Edition Ridgeview Blanc de Blancs 2014.

Ridgeview is imported into the USA by Banville Wine Merchants https://www.banvillewine.com/