Winter in the Vineyard

As we settle into a new year, the exciting possibilities of fresh beginnings, change and growth are all around us. Nowhere is this felt more keenly than in the vineyard. The importance of rest, resetting and re-evaluating is key to sustainable growth. There is great wisdom in the natural world; take our vines for inspiration…

frosty vineyard

In winter, they are dormant and channel their resources beneath the surface. They prepare for the year ahead, through nourishing their roots and storing energy within. By strengthening internally, they reinforce their chances of success for the year ahead. This sets the tone for new growth in Spring.

There is a great beauty to be found in the stark landscape and dramatic skies that surround Ridgeview in January. It is a very different scene to the lush, leafy rows of burgeoning vines and ripening grapes in the summer sun. But is one that encapsulates an authentic and poetic glimpse of the seasonality and endless perseverance of the natural world that Ridgeview works in harmony with.

THE ART OF PRUNING


It is when the vines are at rest that we commence pruning – cutting them back, assessing their health and directing their growth for the coming season. We caught up with Matt Strugnell, Ridgeview’s Vineyard Manager to discover more.

“Winter gives us the most exposure and direct contact we can hope to get to the vines. It’s almost like you can see their skeleton, their core. When the vine has foliage, you can only really view how it is performing in the present. But in Winter, you can see the vine’s past and understand how to shape its future.”

Matt Pruning

Matt and his team began this season’s pruning in December 2021 and hope to complete this by mid-February 2022. It is both a delicate and thoughtful process but one that needs to be carried out with relative speed, before the challenges of Spring frosts arise. There are over 17,000 vines on our estate which, our small team of three, aim to prune at a speed of around 30 seconds per vine.

Pruning

“Effective pruning is a true skill and a lifelong craft. It’s something that can only be achieved through experience, good training and instinct. There is great value in constant human contact and connection with the vines. The importance of taste, touch and sight should never be underestimated in the vineyard.”

PRUNING KNOWHOW


Each pruning cut is made with a myriad of aims in mind. We start by choosing a spur that will determine the future shape of the vine, then we select a fruiting cane for this year’s crop. There is also an important decision to be made on how many buds we retain on the cane and their internodal distance (the space between each bud). This is both about yield-management (how many grapes are produced) and controlling the vigour of the vine.

The natural resources of a vine is essentially a zero-sum game – there is a finite amount of energy to go around and we want that to be directed in the right places.

“When the vines produce their crop, they need to be able to ripen. And for that to happen, there needs to be enough canopy, which relies on strong shoots. It’s what we call “vine balance”, creating the right shoot, to fruit to leaf ratio.”

RV Vineyard - Pruning resized(3)

This is where Ridgeview’s dedication to excellence comes in to play. We focus on achieving the optimum equilibrium between all the characteristics needed for a healthy, flourishing vineyard because the quality of our grapes at harvest is of far greater importance than the quantity that are produced.

PRUNING FOR THE FUTURE


Pruning in the vineyard

“Pruning is the single most important job we do as viticulturalists. It’s not just about the year ahead, it plays a vital role in the longevity and heritage of the vineyard.”

Ridgeview’s first vines were planted over 26 years ago and pruning is crucial in protecting and maintaining their legacy. Matt and his team are also in the process of establishing 1000 new vines on the estate. This Winter, in their early stages, they are cut back to their basal buds and we hope to harvest their fruit in 2024.

The value of time, dedication and foresight can never be overstated at Ridgeview. Not only is this keenly felt in our vineyard and winery, but in our passion and commitment to sustainability – a journey we are excited to share more about with you soon.

Life is for Celebrating

Ridgeview’s 2022 Focus Charity – Table Talk Foundation

Ridgeview are delighted to continue our charity partnership with Table Talk Foundation, an incredible organisation providing support to the hospitality industry and food education in Sussex. In 2022, we have renewed our pledge to donate £1 for every bottle sold.

FOR A BETTER FUTURE


Table Talk Participants

A huge focus for the charity this new year, is fundraising in partnership with Adopt a School Trust, to build a bespoke training kitchen at Plumpton College. This will provide a dedicated space in which to deliver their inspirational food education programme helping local primary school children to lead healthier, happier lives.

Table Talk Foundation are passionate about young people’s wellbeing and enabling the next generation to positively change the course of their own future. They educate children about where our food comes from, and how to grow and cook, seasonally and sustainably. Ultimately, they instill a healthy relationship with food, with themselves and with the world around them.

Adopt a School

Ridgeview is proud to be a family business and are passionate about the health and wellbeing of the next generation. That’s why we are committed to supporting Table Talk’s tireless work, for a positive impact on the trajectory of young lives.

HOSPITALITY ACTION


Table Talk Foundation also provide invaluable support to the UK hospitality industry, something very close to Ridgeview’s heart. Through their grants to Hospitality Action, they help thousands of people experiencing difficulty or crisis. They offer vital assistance including financial grants, counselling and advisory support which help hospitality people back on their feet again after a setback.

Over the course of the pandemic Hospitality Action has helped many families put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. They have provided a safety net for hospitality retirees facing isolation and they’ve worked hard to protect the mental and emotional wellbeing of those most vulnerable across UK hospitality.

There were over 660,000 UK job losses in the hospitality sector in 2020 due to COVID-19, with revenues down 40% on average. The devastating impact that the pandemic has had continues to grow and our collective support is now more vital than ever.

Hospitality venues are places of celebration, connection and community; Ridgeview are committed to supporting the people and places behind these to thrive.

Life is for Celebrating

The Ridgeview Harvest – Behind The Scenes

THE RIDGEVIEW HARVEST

A glimpse behind-the-scenes


If you’ve ever found yourself wanting to know more about the world behind your glass of Ridgeview English sparkling wine – harvest holds all the clues.

Read on to discover why, with our harvest highlights from Ridgeview’s specialist team on the ground.

English Sparkling Wine Harvest

THE HEART OF OUR HARVEST


Harvest is the culmination of an entire year of dedication in the vineyard. A crucial milestone when our grapes transform into wine, it marks a new phase in the evolution of Ridgeview’s sparkling wines of the future. It’s full of promise, anticipation and excitement, yet rests so delicately on one precious moment in the year.

Vineyard with Tasting Room before harvest

Nothing beats the buzz about the vineyard in the run up to the harvest period – it’s full of weather-watching, whispers of when it will start and the wonder about the wine it will produce.

Harvest both passes in a flash and lasts for an agonising eternity, balancing on a knife-edge at the mercy of the weather.

It’s an intense period of collaboration between our vineyard and winemaking teams, united by one shared purpose – to produce world-class sparkling wine, working together with passion and care.

THE COUNT-DOWN


The tanks are prepared, ingredients are stocked and our press-loader teams are trained and briefed.

This year we are excited to have installed new oak barrels from France in the winery, toasted on the inside to enhance the delicate qualities that barrel-fermentation adds to the Ridgeview Oak Reserve.

Our winery team have rehydrated the barrels after their long journey to Ridgeview, ready for their first use in 2021.

Simon Roberts with Oak Barrels

WHEN TO PICK

The Million-Dollar Question


Monitoring the pH and sugar levels of the grapes is crucial and we’re constantly scrutinising the quality and characteristics.

We measure ripeness through appearance, taste, juice samples, bunch weights and complex analysis in the lab.

Picking the right time to harvest is a science in itself.

There’s a very short window of time when everything aligns and it’s vital to act in an instant.

Matt using a refractometer

Row by row, our harvest team carefully hand-pick grape bunches ready to be taken to the press.

The moment the grapes are picked, the clock is ticking to press them to ensure the highest quality of juice.

It’s one of the many joys and challenges of working in collaboration with nature.

A DAY IN THE LIFE

Harvest insights from our team who make the magic happen.


Matt Strugnell, Vineyard Manager with Pinot grapes

‘At harvest there is an unwavering motivation … someone, somewhere in the future will be enjoying a glass of Ridgeview’s exceptional wine and it all starts with these grapes.’

Matt Strugnell, Vineyard Manager

SPOTLIGHT ON


Jack Mankin

Night-shift Supervisor (Winery)

Jack Mankin, Winery Team

HOW DO YOU PREPARE?


A huge focus of my role is to train our press loaders and cellar hands. It’s not just information and instructions, it’s about bonding together as a team. We’re loading 400 tonnes of grapes by hand and good relationships are what you draw on when it’s 1am and you’re soaking wet!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART?


The smell of the winery when everything is fermenting…and the sounds are beautiful too. It’s the gentle noise of the ferments whirring and the bubbles coming through the airlocks. It taps in to all the ‘other senses’ to hear and smell the wine being made – that’s quite an amazing thing.

Harvest staff with tanks in the winery

DESCRIBE HARVEST IN THREE WORDS


Sugary, damp and beautiful

WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING PART?


Rain on a night-shift. There’s no sun to dry you off.

The winery at harvest

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE NIGHT-SHIFT…


It takes a lot more resilience and a deep love of winemaking to see you through. It’s dark, you’re soggy and there’s not much glamour involved. But I do enjoy it as a slightly quieter time where I have more focus to nurture and guide the team. It’s important to me that they have the opportunity to learn and get the most out of this unique experience.

DO YOU HAVE A HARVEST MANTRA?


In my first ever job I got told “if you have time to lean you have time to clean” and I’ve carried that around with me ever since. There’s always something interesting to be doing at harvest and it’s important to get stuck in.

Press loading at harvest

TOP TIP TO YOUR TEAM


Bring spare socks – it will get damp and soggy and you’ll regret it if you don’t.

HARVEST DREAM VERSUS REALITY…


It takes a particular type of person who doesn’t mind getting wet, cold and dirty. You have to have vision. The grapes don’t just magically turn in to wine – there’s a lot of hard work and dedication involved. But harvest is such an essential part in the winemaking process – arguably the most important. The choices you make now have the potential to influence the characteristics and qualities in the future and it’s so rewarding to play a part in that.

Sam Flood - Winery

INTRODUCING…


SAM FLOOD

DAY-SHIFT SUPERVISOR (WINERY)

YOUR FAVOURITE PART IS…


Things get exciting when we start to receive the grapes. I love taking a first look, checking them over and seeing the quality. But I think the real thrill begins when the grapes are pressed and it turns to juice. That’s when I start to truly see it as wine.

Grapes in buckets - being carries

AND THE WORST PART…


Cleaning! There are so many grape skins and stalks…it’s a messy business.

DOES TEAM WORK REALLY MAKE THE DREAM WORK?


It’s essential to operate as a team, otherwise it just wouldn’t work. But it’s not just about necessity…we all thrive on helping each other out and working collaboratively. We share the highs and lows together.

Harvest team at lunch

WHAT’S YOUR HARVEST MOTTO?


Speed is key – it’s important not to hold things up. If I have a spare moment, then it’s time to help someone else out. It happens in a flash and there’s no time to rest.

WHAT’S THE CHALLENGE?


Keeping an eye on all of the different jobs and team members. Harvest is full of fast-paced, energetic teamwork and it’s all hands to the deck. I’m focused on maintaining a slick, seamless and quality-driven process whilst also ensuring everyone is supported and happy. There’s a lot at stake and that’s both exciting and stressful.

Winery Team at Harvest
Sam Flood - Day Shift Supervisor

THE HARVEST DREAM VERSUS REALITY…


It’s definitely not romantic in the traditional sense. You’re cold and drenched, it’s full of hard work, heavy lifting and the grapes keep on coming…but it’s so worth it. Nothing beats the sense of pride knowing that you’ve been a part of it all.

DESCRIBE HARVEST IN THREE WORDS


Fun, organised chaos.

Harvest - picking

SUSTAINABILITY


Grapes at harvest

We are particularly proud that 2021 marks the first harvest since both our vineyard and winery have been awarded Wine GB’s Sustainable Wines of Great Britain trademark. This accreditation recognises Ridgeview’s commitment to environmental sustainability through reducing our carbon footprint, promoting biodiversity and using minimal intervention methods in our viticulture and winemaking. We believe that ‘Life is for Celebrating’…and that includes animal and plant life too!

Harvest - Picking
Life is for Celebrating

Ridgeview Releases Blanc de Blancs 2016


PURE PASSION AND DISTINCTION IN A GLASS


Our limited release Blancs de Blanc 2016 is a fresh and exciting expression of our most distinguished, single estate sparkling wine; one that truly unites Ridgeview’s distinctive quality and style with its unique vintage character.

Made exclusively from the finest Chardonnay grapes, grown here in our home vineyard in 2016, it is the perfect embodiment of our viticulture and world-leading winemaking.

Chardonnay grapes
Ridgeview English Sparkling Wine at the Savoy

Only ever made in exceptional years, this latest release of our flagship sparkling wine beautifully captures both the unique story of this year in our vineyard and a wealth of dedicated craftsmanship since.

With a limited number of bottles now available, each with at least four years on lees to bring the full depth of complexity, it truly is an exquisite sparkling wine worthy of the greatest of celebrations.

CLICK BELOW OR READ ON TO DISCOVER MORE


TASTING NOTES


‘Purity, elegance and complexity…that’s the beating heart of our Blanc de Blancs.’

– Simon Roberts, Director of Winemaking

Blanc de Blancs 2016

Full and ripe with citrus notes and tropical tones of lychee and pineapple.

Offering complexity and a balanced palate backed by hazelnut, toasted brioche, honey and a gentle hint of spice.

A rich gold colour with fine persistent bubbles and an elegant mousse.

VINEYARD


A year of two halves that uniquely harmonised to create an exceptional vintage and an excellent Blanc de Blancs.

A cold start to the season was followed by extreme Spring frost with snow on the ground and temperatures struggling to reach above freezing point. This was then met with a wet and cold flowering season.

Our vineyard team lit the Ridgeview bougies (vineyard candles to warm the vines) on six bitter, early mornings and throughout the night.

This vital protection of the vulnerable budburst was pivotal in nurturing the unique cool climate qualities of the 2021 vintage.

Ridgeview Bougies

‘These cool climate conditions coupled with the long growing season, brings a rich complexity to our Blanc de Blancs 2016 and enabled a gentle hint of spice to flourish. With over four years on lees, the depth of these qualities has continued to build.’

– Simon Roberts, Director of Winemaking

Wines before harvest downs DP

A glorious spell of warm, dry and sunny weather in September gifted superior ripening conditions.

After meticulous grape-analysis and intensive collaboration between our Vineyard Manager and Director of Winemaking, it was clear that Ridgeview’s 2016 Chardonnay grapes would be earmarked for a Blanc de Blancs of significant note.

Backed by blue skies and dry weather, grapes with sugar and acidity levels that wineries dream of were hand-picked in a glorious Indian Summer.

‘Harvest is always full of excited anticipation, but it can often be tense; there’s a lot at play and a vulnerable reliance on the weather. And yet, there are a handful of memorable vintages when everything seamlessly comes together and 2016 is a perfect example…if I could formulate a fantasy harvest, 2016 would be a leading inspiration.’

– Matt Strugnell, Vineyard Manager

SERVING SUGGESTIONS


Delicious as an aperitif, it is also a great match for seafood, shellfish and perfect with oysters.

For an interesting twist, try Director of Winemaking, Simon Robert’s suggestion of Thai food and Asian flavours. The hint of spice, salinity and umami notes make for an an exciting pairing.

DISCOVER MORE


First made in 2000, Ridgeview’s Blanc de Blancs made history when it was awarded Decanter’s World’s Best Sparkling Wine in 2010, up against the world’s finest Champagne houses. A momentous occasion putting English winemaking firmly on the map, as a force to be reckoned with on an international scale. It set an unrivalled benchmark for excellence in sparkling wine, not just in England but all around the globe.

Each new release of our Blanc de Blancs continues to garner exceptional critical acclaim and has proved itself as a sparkling wine that truly is, in a class of its own.

BANNER

LOOKING AHEAD


Since the 2016 vintage there has been a wealth of innovation and growth at Ridgeview. And yet, our winemaking, viticulture and values remain largely unchanged. Whilst we are always looking forward our foundations are strong. We are proud to have paved the way for English vineyards and continue to guide, nurture and inspire our nation’s winemakers to be the very best in the world.

Afternoon Tea with a Touch of Sparkle

Is there anything more glorious than getting together over Afternoon Tea?

Sweet treats, bitesize savoury delights and always accompanied by a delicious drink, this charming British tradition is a must-have for your summer celebrations.

Afternoon Tea

Try it with a glass of something sparkling and you’ll experience the true taste of luxury.

So, put a date in the diary with your nearest and dearest and enjoy an indulgent afternoon tea full of fun, fizz and finger sandwiches.

Sebastian Coman Photography - Afternoon Tea 2
Rosé with strawberries
Afternoon Tea - Sebastian Coman Photography

History of Afternoon Tea

We owe Duchess of Bedford, Anna Maria Russell, for this ever-so English experience.

Afternoon Tea

As the Victorian upper classes began to install kerosine lighting in the home, dinner became fashionably late. But this lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria was understandably peckish! She devised a wonderful way to delicately dine between lunch and dinner – and so the glorious ritual of afternoon tea was born.

This timeless treat remains a much-loved British affair with endless contemporary appeal. Today, it’s enjoyed as an occasional indulgence steeped in tradition and historic charm. It’s a chance to catchup with loved ones, to treat yourself and others and get-together with the very best of friends.

Afternoon Tea

‘There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.’

― Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady

Book your Afternoon Tea Experience

We’re all looking for ways to spice up our staycations and cherish the time we can now spend together. What better way than to celebrate over a sumptuous spread of artisanal delights, delicately poised on tiered cake stands?

Here’s a round-up of our favourite places to enjoy Afternoon Tea with a glass of Ridgeview…

Afternoon Tea - Pennyhill Park
Pennyhill Park
Ockenden Manor - Afternoon Tea
Ockenden Manor
Afternoon Tea - South Lodge
South Lodge

Pennyhill Park

With breathtaking scenery, lavish interiors and an exquisite array of tantalising treats, Pennyhill Park’s exceptional afternoon tea is not to be missed.

Afternoon Tea - Pennyhill Park
Penny Hill Park - Afternoon Tea

Served in the Hillfield Bar and handmade by their dedicated pastry team, you can be sure of a treat for your tastebuds and a true sense of occasion. For a touch more opulence…

…add a glass of Ridgeview’s Bloomsbury NV, Fitzrovia Rosé, Blancs de Noirs or Rosé de Noirs.

Ockenden Manor

Afternoon Tea at Ockenden Manor

Enjoy an elegant afternoon tea at Ockenden Manor. Set within eight acres of stunning countryside, this Elizabethan manor house is the perfect place for a traditional afternoon tea experience.

Served in their charming drawing room or sun-soaked terrace, you’ll savour a selection of sandwiches, scones and sweet delights. Enhance the celebrations with a glass of Ridgeview’s Bloomsbury NV.

Afternoon Tea at Ockenden Manor

South Lodge

Delightful and delicious’, Afternoon Tea at South Lodge is a truly luxurious affair. Tuck into homemade sweet and savoury delicacies, from their award-winning restaurant team.

Afternoon Tea at South Lodge, Exclusive Hotels
Afternoon Tea at South Lodge, Exclusive Hotels

Relax in the beautiful surroundings of this luxury spa hotel and experience hospitality at it’s finest. For an extra special touch, add a glass of Ridgeview’s Bloomsbury NV.

Host your own Afternoon Tea

We’ve put together our top-tips and recipes for a simple way to host an elegant Afternoon Tea with a twist. Enjoy all the frill and thrills of this much-loved British past-time perfectly paired with your Ridgeview wine of choice.

START WITH SAVOURY

Sebastian Coman Photography - Smoked Salmon

Enjoy a match made in heaven with Bloomsbury NV and Mary Berry’s smoked salmon and horseradish canapésOr for an Asian twist, try Katsu Sandos with Blancs de Noirs.

These bite-size finger sandwiches with an assortment of fillings are an Afternoon Tea must-have. Try them with Cavendish NV for a touch of sparkle – just don’t forget to cut the crusts off!

CLASSIC SCONES

Here’s Paul Hollywood’s simple scone recipe for the most-British of treats.

Delicious whichever way you pronounce them!

Savour your scones with a glass of any of our Signature range but particularly Fitzrovia Rosé NV.

You could get really fancy and make your own Strawberry Jam.

We’ll forgive you if you buy the clotted cream.

Ben Stein - Scones

SOMETHING SWEETER

Add a French twist with Raspberry Millefeuilles and Rosé de Noirs.

Or for that holiday feeling, how about these cocktail-inspired Strawberry Daiquiri and Pina Colada Fancies?

Try it the royal way with Mini Victoria Sponge Cakes from Mary Berry.

Named after Queen Victoria, this was her afternoon treat of choice and makes an unbeatable pairing with Fitzrovia Rosé.

Here at Ridgeview we don’t debate about jam or cream first on your scones, nor quibble over English breakfast or Earl Grey. We have a much more exciting dilemma…

…which of our favourite sparkling wines to pair with our petit-fours and fondant fancies.

Open for Celebration

Ridgeview’s Latest Campaign

Launched during English Wine Week, Drinks marketing agency YesMore has assisted Ridgeview in producing a new campaign to celebrate the gradual opening up as the UK emerges from lockdown.

This creative centres around the tagline ‘Open for celebration’ whether that’s opening your bottle or celebrating life opening up again. The videos focus on four styles of personality when opening your bottle of sparkling: the perfectionist, the magician, the squealy popper and the first timer.

Mardi Roberts, Director of Communications at Ridgeview commented:

“During the last year it has been fantastic working with YesMore, evolving our brand message whilst keeping celebration at our heart. The new creative was great fun to develop and create the popping personalities by asking ‘How do you open for celebration?”

Tom Harvey, co-founder at YesMore Agency, added:

“The new Ridgeview ads and strategy try to capture something of the excitement we all feel when we open a bottle of fizz. That excitement and anticipation – it’s always an occasion – and right now, many people are looking to cautiously celebrate once more.”

So…how do you pop?

Ridgeview Sparkling Wine

RIDGEVIEW’S FOOD AND WINE PAIRING GUIDE

Discover a whole new world of taste when pairing exquisite English wine with complementary cuisine.

Kickstart your journey to the perfect pairing with our foodie guide. It’s packed full of recipe ideas, inspiration and insider tips from top chefs and wine experts.

Discover a range of delicious food pairing options for each of the Ridgeview collection.

BLOOMSBURY NV

Smoked Salmon | Crab | Canapés

SPOTLIGHT ON

SMOKED SALMON – The citrus fruit aroma and fine mousse adds a crisp freshness to this rich delicacy.

RECIPES

Try these smoked salmon roulades or dill blinis.

SHOP

Springs Smokery are the ultimate go-to for organically-fed and traditionally smoked fish in 50 year-old kilns.

THE FLINTHOUSE

Ben McKellar, top chef and founder of the inimitable Gingerman Restaurants Group recommends:

Sweetcorn fritter with Jalapeño mayonnaise

From their June 2021 menu at The Flinthouse, Brighton

Dine at any of their five Gingerman restaurants and discover more delicious dishes to pair with Bloomsbury NV.

CAVENDISH NV

Duck | Trout | Charcuterie

CLUES FROM THE KITCHEN

Michael Bremner, trailblazing chef and founder of 64 Degrees and Murmur:

‘You should try Cavendish NV with our Catch of the day tacos or even Grilled chilli squid with Asian salad and miso dressing at Murmur. These vibrant flavours make for a very exciting pairing.’

Visit 64 Degrees or Murmur for their latest menus and discover more ways to bring food and wine to life.

SPOTLIGHT ON

DUCK: As a pinot-dominant blend, the red berry flavours and notes of spice match beautifully with the sweet, earthiness of the meat whilst the Chardonnay adds finesse and freshness.

RECIPES

Try Nigella Lawson’s duck with soy and ginger.

Or Raymond Blanc’s Classic French recipe, roasted duck with orange marmalade.

FITZROVIA ROSÉ

Lobster | Summer Pudding | Strawberry

CLUES FROM THE KITCHEN

Kim Ratcharoen, Senior Sous Chef at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay used Fitzrovia Rosé in the BBC’s 2021 Great British Menu.

This ‘delicious…tangy palate cleanser’ was a Mimosa-inspired lychee sorbet with hibiscus syrup and a rosé foam.

For those of us that can only ever dream of having Kim’s culinary skills, try this simple Lychee Pavlova.

SPOTLIGHT ON

SOMETHING SWEET

RECIPES

The simple classic, Strawberries and Cream, is a delightfully fresh and fruity pairing with Fitzrovia Rosé – one of our most popular wines.

Or for an even more British and delicious pairing try, Mary Berry’s Summer Pudding packed full of sweet berry flavours.

BLANC DE BLANCS

Oysters | Lemon Butter | Scallops

HINTS FROM HERITAGE

Matt Gillan, Michelin-starred chef and founder of Heritage restaurant recommends matching Ridgeview’s Blanc de Blancs with scallops.

‘This pairs beautifully with our Dived scallop, roasted & pickled apricot, samphire and XO sauce. Something special happens when these two things come together.’

Visit Heritage for their latest menu and enjoy an inspiring host of modern-British food and wine matches.

SPOTLIGHT ON

LEMON & FISH: Look for a seafood dish that matches the intensity and freshness of this wine. Add lemon butter into the mix and the aromatic and fruity notes will truly sing. Have you tried Blanc de Blancs with Fish and Chips? You really should!

RECIPES

BLANCS DE NOIRS

Mackerel | Duck | Mushrooms

SPOTLIGHT ON

MUSHROOMS – The depth and earthiness beautifully compliments the aromatic red fruit aromas and delicate spice from the Pinot grapes.

RECIPES

Try Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s simple porcini mushroom risotto full of wild English flavours.

Or Yotam Ottolenghi’s portobello mushroom tarts with pine nuts and parsley salsa.

THE CHEF'S VERDICT

‘The red-fruit aromas of this Pinot-dominant wine matches beautifully with the rich and robust flavour of mackerel whilst the fine mousse adds a crisp finesse to the moreish oily and meaty texture.’

– Head Chef, Robert Potter, at Exclusive Collection’s Michelin starred Bybrook restaurant.

OAK RESERVE

Charcuterie | Light Game

SPOTLIGHT ON

CHARCUTERIE – This exceptional oak-aged sparkling wine offers a complimentary buttery texture and fresh, fruity notes to lift the rich, spicy flavours of cured meat.

Charcuterie with Oak Reserve NV

WINEMAKER'S HINTS

‘Try it with light shell fish like scallops or clams. Dover sole works particularly well too, as does roast chicken or light game like quail or partridge.

For something sweet, citrus infused crème brulee is a beautiful match.

But for the ultimate culinary experience, serve it with Christmas lunch – by far the best pairing!’

– Simon Roberts, Director of Winemaking, Ridgeview

ROSÉ DE NOIRS

Wild Strawberries | Smoked Salmon | Red Berries

SPOTLIGHT ON

WILD STRAWBERRIES: The creamy palatte of peach, cherry and spice compliments the sweetness of ripe strawberries.

RECIPES

Try Paul Hollywood’s Victoria Sponge for a delicious British classic. Maybe you have a secret family recipe? We’d love to know!

Or how about this Vegan strawberry cheesecake from the Happy Pear?

TIPS FROM THE TOP

‘I love the versatility of this wine when it comes to food. Being just the pinots and with the extraction of the delicate colour from the skins in the press, it can pair beautifully with the more robust flavours of roasted lamb, even Thai food and yet goes equally well with more delicately flavoured seafood dishes.

This wine is not just an aperitif, it has been made with food in mind.’

– Tamara Roberts, CEO of Ridgeview

RIDGEFEST

Ridgefest 2021

RIDGEFEST POSTPONED TO 2022

After careful consideration of the latest government guidance, we have made the difficult decision to postpone RidgeFest 2021 until next year. Our overriding concern is that under the current and potential future social distancing rules, we would not be able to deliver the onsite RidgeFest experience that would live up to all our expectations.

We will be rolling over all existing tickets over to 2022, so you don’t need to do anything!

Whilst we know this news is disappointing, we hope you understand the steps we’re taking to keep our staff, talent, suppliers and guests safe. We look forward to celebrating with you at our future RidgeFest which we hope to be bigger and better on August 27th 2022!

Thanks for your understanding,

Team RidgeFest

Refunds

If you would prefer a refund of your ticket please let us know by Friday 16th of July and refunds will be processed by Friday 30th July. Please click on the email address below and provide the booking name, reference, confirmation of the original card used for purchase and a contact number. We will be in touch if any further details are required to process the refund.

Vineyard Experiences – A Place for Everyone

Your Guide to Visiting a Vineyard

English vineyards and wineries up and down the U.K. are creating internationally renowned and global award-winning wines in breath taking countryside settings. We love nothing more than to share our passion by welcoming guests to experience the English wine-making world. There is something to inspire each and every one in ways you might not expect.

Maybe you’re already a champion of exquisite English wine, or perhaps you’re new to this and want to learn more? A visit to a vineyard can be as relaxed as you like. From a casual drop-in tasting and a walk through the vines to an elegant meal and a tailor-made tour, you can explore a local winery at your own pace.

Perhaps you associate wine tourism with historic French Champagne houses, Australian wine regions or the thrilling valleys of New Zealand? You might be surprised to know that all of this is right on your doorstep here in the UK. Read on to discover what an English Vineyard can offer you…

REASONS TO VISIT

Set in dramatic landscapes with unforgettable vistas, English vineyards offer an unrivalled opportunity to get off the beaten track. From wine enthusiasts to new experience-seekers, seasoned connoisseurs to local explorers, they’re a place for everyone to create memorable moments with those that matter.

Classic tours, tastings and guided trails are a fantastic way to experience a vineyard but dig a little deeper and you’ll find a whole host of complementary leisure activities and events. From art exhibitions, yoga classes and craft workshops, to music festivals, chef events and concerts.

English winemaking is a beautiful synthesis of family, sustainability, craftsmanship and celebration. Whether you’re on a staycation or looking for a local hidden gem, we encourage everyone to connect with us in a way that suits you so that you can find your unique place in our diverse community.

START YOUR JOURNEY

Pop into a vineyard, take in the stunning sights and surroundings and visit the cellar door. You’ll be greeted by the friendly and knowledgeable staff who love to share their vineyard story with you.

Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions or feel like prior knowledge is required. In fact, sharing our passion with people who are new to this is one of the most rewarding parts of what we do.

Our foundations are based upon collaboration and community. The minute you enter a vineyard, you’ll feel a part of this too.

You can often sample before you buy – just ask the cellar door team who will be more than happy to showcase their range.

Here at Ridgeview we offer tastings for our Cellar door visitors (when Covid regulations allow) or self-guided tasting flights in our Ridgeview Wine Garden because we love nothing more than sharing our world-class wine with both new and lifelong guests.

Alongside the vineyard’s unique range of wine, you can browse an exciting selection of bespoke products, experiences and heartfelt gifts that you won’t find anywhere else. We love to partner with local, artisan producers to offer exclusive items ranging from wine-infused chocolates, culinary delights and cocktail sets to spa accessories and homeware.

Click here to view Ridgeview’s Cellar Door opening times or find a vineyard near you.

TOURS AND TASTINGS

Fully-immerse yourself with a tour and tasting experience, perfect for an effortless day-out full of discovery. Get behind-the-scenes access to the delicate craft of wine-making and viticulture to be enjoyed at your leisure.

If you’ve been on a wine tour before, you’ll know it’s a relaxing yet invigorating journey and is doesn’t end there. Each winery is unique, every wine is distinctive and no two vineyards are the same.

Glass

There’s no better way to savour a wine than right at the heart of where it is made and the more vineyards you visit, the more your eyes will open to the beauty of English winemaking.

There are so many options for you to choose from for you to create a flexible personalised day-out.

Wine Cellar Door have a great directory to search for vineyard and winery tours to book directly or why not try something imaginative like a Sparkling Sussex Cycling Tour with a stay at one of the exceptional Historic Sussex Hotels.

Find out about tour and tasting experiences here at Ridgeview or why not send a gift voucher to a friend? We’d love to welcome you!

WHEN TO VISIT

Vineyards and Wineries are a hive of activity all-year round. No two days are the same and all four seasons bring new delights and challenges. Whilst the summer months are full of flowering vines and blue skies, there is so much more to experience throughout the year.

Spring

Watch the vines come to life from budburst. See the processes that vineyards are using to protect vulnerable young growth from the risk of frost.

If you are lucky, you may even see beautiful bluebells in the woods surrounding the vineyards – just like here at Ridgeview.

Bluebells 3

Summer

Ridgeview

Green foliage develops in the Vineyard as vines begin their growth, you can almost watch them grow before your eyes. Flowers appear in July which are the beginnings of the grape bunches.

These berries will change colour and ripen in August/September in preparation for harvest.

Autumn

A gorgeous time to visit the vineyards as the leaves on the vines slowly change into beautiful autumnal colours. Once the Vineyard Manager and Winemaker are happy with the quality of the year’s grapes, harvest will begin. All grapes at Ridgeview are picked by hand, normally in late September or October. Look out for wineries offering harvest experience days when you might get the chance to pick the grapes yourself! A visit after harvest is a unique opportunity to check in with the Winemakers to hear about the results of the years vintage.

Winter

Bloomsbury. Ridgeview Wine photo ©Julia Claxton

This is time for the vines to rest after their hard work and they take on a wonderfully stark and atmospheric beauty. Bright and crisp winter weather brings a vineyard atmosphere like no other full of festive allure. Tour visitors will enjoy unique behind-the-scenes access to the winery and cellars for a warm, cosy and enlightening visit. The vineyard shop will be bursting with celebration gifts and winery hospitality spaces are a throng of festive events and Christmas parties.

DINING

Wine Estates offer an array of enticing hospitality experiences for both modern, casual diners and discerning foodies alike. Vineyard dining options are endless but you can be sure that the focus is always on top-quality, seasonal ingredients packed full of flavour.

Vineyards are known for platters and hampers bursting with locally-sourced produce, perfect for a picnic amongst the vines. It’s an ideal atmosphere to meet with friends and family for a relaxed get-together over a sumptuous selection of contemporary dishes and artisan boards.

Or maybe you’re looking for something more celebratory and special? Options abound from luxurious fine-dining restaurants and private events to pop-up chef events and wine pairing evenings.

Look up your local vineyard and find out more on events and activities via Wines GB.

Here in Sussex, our Ridgeview Wine Garden offers artisanal small plates and sharing boards. It’s the ideal spot to dine with friends and family accompanied by a chilled glass of Ridgeview wine.

Corporate Hire

VINEYARD STAYCATIONS

If you’re looking for a stylish staycation, a relaxing weekend break or a restorative escape to the country you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Wine GB’s directory is a great way to search for accommodation amongst the vines. Or read this article full of inspiration on arranging a vineyard mini break to suit all tastes and budgets. Visit Britain is a brilliant resource to plan an itinerary full of exciting local attractions. Or check out Sussex Modern for inspiration on creative places to be explored and enjoyed here in the South East. Sussex Food and Drink showcases all the local wine producers to visit along with food and farm shops for seasonal and sustainable purchases during your stay.

For a luxurious affair, Exclusive Collection offer unique getaways with their exquisite portfolio of hotels and spas. From well-being retreats to golfing breaks, there’s a wealth of experiences to discover.

If you’re looking for something special –  you’ll find it with Exclusive. Guests at South Lodge can enjoy a whole host of spa and dining packages with three restaurants, a bar, lounge and terrace.

Why not indulge in a lavish treatment at their Ridgeview Beauty Bar and join us here at the Estate for a tour and tasting?

Ridgeview has a fantastic relationship with local hotels and tourism providers with whom we share a love of the beauty and vibrancy of Sussex. Click here for Ridgeview’s accommodation recommendations or create your own unique stay with help from the following websites:

Visit BrightonExperience West SussexTourism South EastVisit DitchlingExperience Mid Sussex and South Downs National Park

CONNECT

Get social and follow @RidgeviewWineUK on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well as @RidgeviewWineGarden to see what special events are hosting. You can also stay in touch by signing up to the Ridgeview newsletter. We have got lots of exciting Summer plans and beyond for you to come and celebrate here with us.

Visiting a vineyard is an uplifting and joyful experience offering everyone the opportunity to connect, reset, explore and relax. However you choose to visit, you can be sure you’ll be met with a warm welcome, and leave with long-lasting memories of the time spent together.

We’d love to welcome you here at Ridgeview soon. It truly is a place for everyone.

BLOOMSBURY WINS HARPERS WINE STAR OF ENGLAND

Our Ridgeview Bloomsbury NV has been named the No. 1 Star of English Wine in the Harpers Wine Star Awards 2021. Bloomsbury NV also took the title of the Star of Sussex, Star Value and Star Taste, with Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé NV winning Star Design for its striking label.

The Harpers Wine Star Awards launched in 2017 to showcase wines of excellence from around the world with comprehensive analysis of taste, value and design by those in the trade. The judging panels consist of buyers with purchasing power and influence across the UK on and off-trades who are drawn from independent merchants, wholesalers, supermarkets, restaurants and the sommelier worlds.

Judges look at the quality of the wines in the bottle then assess for value and design, looking to reward for great drinking, fair price and shelf appeal. Ridgeview are thrilled to have been awarded such an amazing array of results up against some incredible competition in an ever-growing, exciting English wine category.

Ridgeview’s Director of Winemaking, Simon Roberts: “For our flagship Ridgeview wine, Bloomsbury NV, to be named the Star of England in a competition with such respected judges from the trade is a true honour. To be benchmarked against the increasingly brilliant category of English sparkling wines is a fantastic credit to the whole Ridgeview team by sustaining quality at the forefront of all we do.”

Harpers Wine Star Judges commented that this rise of English sparkling wine has been nothing short of remarkable. They agreed that the prices were well aligned with quality, instilling confidence for consumers that English sparkling wine could and should stand shoulder to shoulder with the best sparkling wines in the world.