ROSÉ REVEALED | THE METHOD & THE MAGIC

ROSÉ REVEALED

THE SECRET TO OUR SPARKLING ROSÉS

Sun-kissed celebrations and halcyon days, sparkling rosé comes alive as Summer unfolds. Discover more about this delectable style of sparkling wine with our guide to Ridgeview’s rosé methods.

FITZROVIA ROSÉ NV

Fresh, effervescent and full of flavour, our signature sparkling rosé brings an enticing expression of English summer with each and every sip. But how do we achieve this winemaking magic?

THE BEAUTY IS IN THE BLENDING

It might surprise you to know, that mixing white wine with red wine does actually make rosé but the devil is in the detail…

Made using the traditional blending method (a favoured format in the Champagne region where they call it ‘assemblage’), Fitzrovia Rosé is a carefully crafted blend of grape varieties from different vintages to form the perfect balance of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes.

Throughout harvest, each tank is tasted, analysed and earmarked for its suitability for certain blends. For this, our most revered rosé, we look for a fruitful, tropical chardonnay to make up 60% of the composition. It needs to be a flawless fit for the rosé profile – fresh, fruit-driven and crisp but not citrusy or too austere.

Rosé Revealed

THE RED CARPET TREATMENT

Our carefully chosen Chardonnay is then layered up with Ridgeview’s red wine to add depth, a summer fruit profile and that mesmerising plum-coloured hue. We treat our red wine as a cuvée in itself; an exquisite still wine that could stand up to our sparkling range, if we were ever to bottle it. It is produced by the classic method of crushing, de-stemming, then fermenting on the skins. And then we add a distinctive Ridgeview twist…

It is given a gentle press, a whisker before the ferment has finished, to extract those beautiful fruit profiles without any bitter tannins or the rich, meaty characteristics you might expect from a still red wine.

Winemaking excellence takes time and we have spent years refining and perfecting our methods. First made in 1998, Fitzrovia Rosé historically included around 10% of red wine but the quality and intensity of the red wine we now produce means that we typically add around only 2-3%. It makes for a darker, richer, more complex sparkling wine that retains the depth of rosé but with a far more intense and enchanting tasting experience.

Chardonnay dominant, yet unmistakably a rosé, it’s freshness and vibrancy cries out for sweet, creamy desserts, and has endless appeal as an aperitif to accompany your summer celebrations. It’s no wonder it was served to Barack Obama by Her Majesty the Queen at the Buckingham Palace State Banquet.

“Our Fitzrovia Rosé is like Eton Mess in a bottle, with notes of strawberries and cream, biscuity overtones and a whisper of meringue. What better way to spend a summer’s afternoon in the sun, than celebrating time spent with friends and family over a delectable glass of what we affectionately call ‘Fitz’!”

Simon Roberts, Head Winemaker

ROSÉ DE NOIRS

Alive with vibrant fruit flavours and a creamy palate of peach, cherry and spice, this is an elegant, grown-up, serious sparkling rosé. Here’s how we carefully craft our limited-release Rosé de Noirs.

THE SECRET TO OUR SAIGNÉE METHOD

An enigmatic expression of winemaking excellence, made only in exceptional vintage years, we use our own unique interpretation of the traditional saignée method (meaning ‘to bleed’). It all starts with our ripest Pinot Noir fruit that have been specially selected for our Rosé de Noirs and these are the last grapes that we pick throughout harvest.

They rest in crates overnight and the following day, before we load them into the press to sit on whole bunches, in contact with skin and seeds. This is all about extracting that rich rosé colour, a smooth, velvety texture and the distinctive depth of flavour that can only be found in an exceptional Rosé de Noirs. Once Head Winemaker, Simon Roberts, is confident that the perfect balance of quality and character has been achieved, we begin to press.

TRADITION, REFINED

Traditionally, with the saignée method, there is much more extended time for the juice to sit, but we have refined this historic method to develop our own distinctive style of Rosé de Noirs. We extract juice from our Pinot Noir grapes, just as the fermentation begins, to create a much fresher, lighter and playful sparkling rosé. It is less red wine dominant and more of a delicate, elegant wine, backed by a bold kaleidoscope of flavours, from fresh, juicy raspberries to that mesmerising hint of spice.

Inspired by the traditional styles of rosés celebrated around the world, our distinctive style combines depth with delicacy. It is a rich, complex and fruit-driven Rosé de Noirs that is delightfully fresh, fragrant and full of charisma.

Rosé de Noirs is a winemaker’s delight and it is treated extremely delicately at Ridgeview, with only very limited releases for each vintage. It is one of the purest examples of a handmade, carefully crafted English Sparkling Wine that demands a wealth of skill, experience and passion to pull off.

“I look for lots of black cherry, redcurrant and strawberry notes and a seductive savouriness that comes with really ripe pinots, bringing subtle notes of liquorish and tobacco leaf that you won’t find elsewhere. With three years on lees, it develops an exciting spectrum of flavour, aroma and texture.”

Simon Roberts, Head Winemaker

With endless versatility, our Rosé de Noirs has been made with food in mind. Not only a beautiful match for dessert, it works wonderfully with light game and pheasant, quails eggs and beetroot tartar. This is a standout sparkling wine that truly is a rosé for all seasons.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

CELEBRATING WOMEN AT RIDGEVIEW


This International Women’s Day we’re shining a light on some of the wonderful women we have the privilege of working with at Ridgeview.

When we celebrate, elevate and amplify women’s voices, we’re one step closer to a diverse, equal and inclusive world.

Mardi and Tamara Roberts
Mardi Roberts, Director of Communications and Tamara Roberts, CEO

Discover their top tips and advice for women in the workplace, female figures that inspire their lives and the kind of women they aspire to be.

INTRODUCING…

NISHA MANSFIELD


– Finance Manager –

AS WOMAN, I ASPIRE TO BE… Confident, nurturing and fun!

N

A WOMAN WHO INSPIRES ME IS…

My Mum. She came to the UK in the 1970s from India, after marrying my Dad, with just a suitcase to her name. She built her career as an accountant and became a successful businesswoman in partnership with my Dad. Alongside this, my Mum was a fantastic mother. She worked very hard but was so caring and always had time for our family, never grumbling about about long hours and days.

She is proof that belief in what you can achieve and hard work does pay off, and I will always be grateful for the sacrifices she made for us.

A PIECE OF I WOULD GIVE TO A WOMAN THINKING OF A SIMILAR CAREER IS…

Go for it! There’s lots of studying in the early days but that pays off longer term, and the opportunities available in finance for women are huge.

IF I COULD TELL MY YOUNGER SELF ONE THING, IT WOULD BE…

Believe in yourself. I was so shy as a child and had no confidence, but through my life experiences, and learning from mistakes, I have ‘grown’ into myself and know what I can achieve if I put my mind to it.

“I am proud to be a woman at Ridgeview. We have such an accepting, encouraging, nurturing workplace full of lots of amazing women (led by an inspirational female CEO) and I feel privileged to be part of that.”

BECCA MACKIE


– Vineyard Assistant –

AS A WOMAN, I APSIRE TO BE… Self-confident, authentic and determined.

Becca Mackie, Vineyard Assistant

A PIECE OF ADVICE I WOULD GIVE TO A WOMAN THINKING OF A SIMILAR CAREER IS…

Be prepared to get stuck in and get your hands dirty!

A WOMAN WHO INSPIRES ME IS…

My Nan, she was awesome!

IF I COULD TELL MY YOUNGER SELF ONE THING, IT WOULD BE…

Travel, travel, travel!

AS A WOMAN AT RIDGEVIEW…

It feels good to be supported to break into the traditionally male dominated industry of production/agriculture.

LIZ MORGAN


– Technical Winemaker –

Liz Morgan

AS WOMAN, I ASPIRE TO BE… 

A top mum and a good winemaker. The first one keeps me pretty busy for now!

I’M INSIPRED BY…

All the women scientists, past and present, who have contributed so much to every field of science.

A PIECE OF ADVICE I WOULD GIVE TO A WOMAN THINKING ABOUT A SIMILAR CAREER IS…

Follow what interests you the most; there are so many different careers in science to choose from.

IF I COULD TELL MY YOUNGER SELF ONE THING, IT WOULD BE… 

Don’t be afraid to change direction if you need to, even if it feels like a leap into the unknown!

KATHARINE ARCHER


– People and Development Partner –

Katharine Archer, People and Development Director

A WOMAN WHO INSPIRES ME IS…

Malala Yousafzai for speaking out in support of women’s education and wanting women to have equity in opportunities despite the danger to her life.

A PIECE OF ADVICE I WOULD GIVE TO A WOMAN THINKING OF A SIMILAR CAREER IS…

Choose something that inspires or excites you and this will give you the passion to excel.

IF I COULD TELL MY YOUNGER SELF ONE THING, IT WOULD BE…

Consider a career in the English wine industry, it is a very vibrant and exciting industry to be in.

AS A WOMAN, I WANT TO… 

Inspire other women to not listen to the negative comments, believe in yourself and believe that you can achieve your goals. Plus…live life!

Katharine Archer, People and Development Director

“I feel very empowered as a woman at Ridgeview; everyone is respected and treated equally irrespective of gender.”

ESTHER DAWSON


– Executive Assistant –

Ridgeview

A WOMAN WHO INSPIRES ME IS…

Baroness Doreen Lawrence, the mother of Stephen Lawrence, is a woman that I hugely respect.

The situation of her coming into the public eye was just devastating and despite the personal grief, she has campaigned for police reform with regards to racial injustice and setup a charity in Stephen’s name, to offer bursaries to students, interested in architecture, who may not be able to afford to study.

She has channelled all her efforts into helping improve things for others.

A PIECE OF ADVICE I WOULD GIVE TO A WOMAN THINKING OF A SIMILAR CAREER IS…

That being an assistant is so much more than making diary appointments or booking flights. It’s a hugely respected professional career that can offer worldwide opportunities in so many industries. Assistants now often move into Project Management roles, Business Partners, Chief Operating Officers and Chief of Staff positions.

IF I COULD TELL MY YOUNGER SELF ONE THING, IT WOULD BE…

Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realise they were the big things.

Esther Dawson, EA to the CEO

AS A WOMAN…

I strive to be practical and tackle things myself first (like the brick wall I built and the carpets I’ve laid.). I try to not let my emotions take over my feelings and to have bravery and trust in myself to make big decisions, independently.

“I’ve never felt that there is a glass ceiling for any woman at Ridgeview. Every person, no matter their gender, is given an opportunity to develop, progress and learn skills outside of their role, should they wish to carry on their lifetime of learning.”

HANNAH QUAYLE


– Production Assistant –

Ridgeview

AS WOMAN, I ASPIRE TO BE… 

Valued, indispensable and respected.

A PIECE OF ADVICE I WOULD GIVE TO A WOMAN THINKING ABOUT A SIMILAR CAREER IS…

I may not be not as big or tall as some of the men doing the same job, but I have flexibility and strength, and get things done successfully in my own way.

A WOMAN WHO INSIPRES ME IS…

Nigella Lawson. She’s a successful woman, a beautiful writer and is so popular and adaptable to change, but always keeps her values.

IF I COULD TELL MY YOUNGER SELF ONE THING, IT WOULD BE…

Do a variety of subjects at school and have confidence in your ability.

“I am really proud to be a part of the production team at Ridgeview and am excited to see more and more women getting senior roles in this area of the UK Wine Industry.”

Hannah Quayle, Production Assistant

ELENA KNIGHT


– Digital Marketing Manager –

Elena Knight, Digital Marketing Manager

IF I COULD TELL MY YOUNGER SELF ONE THING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I moved to England from Germany when I was 21 and started my career in marketing, working for engineering and high-tech companies. These industries were heavily biased towards male leadership, and I feel I was held back by that fact. In hindsight, I should probably have had the courage to move away from these very traditional industries and move into a more gender equal industry a lot sooner.

A PIECE OF ADVICE I WOULD GIVE TO A WOMAN THINKING OF A SIMILAR CAREER IS…

Set your sights on a career goal and stick to it. Don’t be shy of joining a company in a role that isn’t perfect, if you work hard and prove yourself, then who knows where it might lead. I have always wanted to market something I am passionate about and it has taken me over a decade to get into an industry that I love. The journey here may not have always been in a straight line, but I got here in the end.

A WOMAN WHO INSPIRES ME IS…

Disney’s Moana, a bold and courageous teenager who sets out on a mission to save her people, facing seemingly impossible odds along the way and discovering her own identity at the same time. She’s a great female role model for future generations of impressionable young girls, letting them know that they should strive to do whatever they set their mind to.

AS A WOMAN I STRIVE TO BE…

Courageous, a good role model to my children and kind.

Elena Knight, Digital Marketing Manager

“It feels great working for Ridgeview where the importance of gender diversity is palpable. Change needs to come from the top down and having a female CEO at the helm, just says it all. I’m looking forward to a future for my daughter, where equal representation is not a topic anymore, it is just the norm.”

FROM THE RIDGEVIEW FAMILY


From the very start of Ridgeview, my parents led the way, helping to empower women in the workplace. International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate all the women in our lives, both at work and our family and friends. Together, with awareness and action, we have the power to break the bias and step into an equal future for all.

– Simon Roberts, Director of Winemaking

Simon and Tamara Roberts
Tamara and Simon Roberts

“Imagine a gender equal world” is the opening statement of the 2022 International Women’s Day campaign. For how long will this have to be a figment of our imagination?  Each and every one of us has a duty to make this a reality through conscious decisions to #BreakTheBias in our homes, education, workplaces and communities.  We must also celebrate and not forget who we are – we are both different AND equal.

Tamara Roberts, Ridgeview’s CEO

Life is for Celebrating

Celebrating Community

RIDGEVIEW’S SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY SERIES – PART 4

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY

Sustainability starts with people


There’s a lot more to Ridgeview than meets the eye. We are proud pioneers of the English wine industry, with a deep-rooted social mission that goes far beyond this.

As a purpose-driven, family business, we have a skyward vision to match the quality and dedication we devote to our wine, with our commitment to a positive social impact. Thanks to our passionate customers, partners and employees, Ridgeview’s trailblazing work continues to lead and inspire.

Here’s how we live that change…

CHARITY AND COMMUNITY

Table Talk Foundation Food Education

Ridgeview are active participants in the community and cares deeply about the individuals within it.

We have a focus charity of the year, which for 2022 is a renewed partnership with Table Talk Foundation.

You can find out more about their inspirational food education programme for children in Sussex and support for the wider hospitality industry here.

Ridgeview regularly support local and national charitable organisations and fundraising events through bottle donations, raffle prizes and hosting charity events at our estate.

OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY

Ridgeview are proud sponsors of community sport including Burgess Hill Cricket Club and Burgess Hill Rugby Club.

We are delighted that our wines are awarded to players of the match to celebrate skill, success and hard work.

Ridgeview at Burgess Hill Cricket Club's Softball Competition
Community Hero Awards

Ridgeview were delighted to sponsor the Sussex Community Hero Award at the Sussex Business Awards 2021.

It was an honour to celebrate individuals who went above and beyond for their community during the pandemic.

OUR TEAM IN THE COMMUNITY

Ridgeview champions our employees’ endeavours to support causes close to their heart. We are vibrant, diverse and dynamic team, with a caring culture of social responsibility who believe in doing business for good.

We run a number of charitable initiatives together as a team, like our staff raffles, foodbank donations and annual activity challenge, a charity initiative masterminded by our CEO, Tamara Roberts.

Our team set personal activity goals which Ridgeview rewards by donating to a monthly charity of choice when they hit their target together.

Ridgeview's Activity Challenge

It’s important to Ridgeview that we enable our team members to support charities that are personal to their own background, story and values. That’s why we offer a payroll giving scheme and will be launching Volunteering Days in 2022, providing staff with paid time off to take part in charitable activities close to their hearts.

“Businesses, like people, thrive when they genuinely embrace and support their local community.  There is no set formula and sometimes the smallest gestures can make the biggest difference to your employees and neighbourhood. Creating an environment within which giving back is highly valued and actively encouraged is hugely important and rewarding.”

– Tamara Roberts, Ridgeview’s CEO

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Inspiring the Next Generation for English Wine

RIDGEVIEW’S SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY SERIES – PART 3

LEADING, NURTURING AND INSPIRING


Ridgeview are passionate about supporting education and encouraging people to enter a career in the Wine Industry. We strive to do all that we can to remove barriers, create pathways and welcome everyone who has passion and purpose.

Our strong links with Plumpton College help to support and inspire the next generation entering the Wine Industry. Ridgeview’s Vineyard Manager, Matt Strugnell and Head Winemaker, Simon Roberts regularly give talks, host visits and offer mentoring to share their knowledge and experience with students.

In partnership with Plumpton, we have joined the National Apprenticeships Scheme, to offer a new Vineyard Apprentice position at Ridgeview. This will enable individuals to gain unique experience in our vineyard, focusing on sustainable practises and viticulture of the highest quality, to forge a rewarding and long-lasting career in the wine industry.

 

Ridgeview Harvest Academy
Ridgeview's Harvest Academy 2021

In 2021, we launched the Ridgeview Harvest Academy to support and encourage local individuals, who were out of work, to explore a career in English wine. We were delighted to offer all interested participants paid employment at Ridgeview during our 2021 harvest, joining us as press loaders and pickers.

Tamara Roberts
Tamara Roberts, CEO

Ridgeview’s CEO, Tamara Roberts, is a member of the advisory board of Sussex University Business School and is passionate about creating opportunities for meaningful work experience, guiding and informing education strategy and strengthening connections between industry, business and students.

Tamara regularly attends career events at local secondary schools, such as Burgess Hill Academy and Downlands, to inspire students to broaden their horizons and consider a career in the English Wine Industry, at a pivotal time in their lives.

You can often find us as friendly faces at career events or local education initiatives. Highlights include our involvement with East Sussex County Council’s Open Doors Project, enabling local school pupils to visit Ridgeview and experience the winemaking world for the first-time to shape and inspire their future.

Mardi Roberts, Ridgeview’s Director of Communications, is a Business Mentor for Shoreham Academy. Through innovative and inspiring work experience projects, she nurtures young people to realise and develop their skills.

Mardi’s ‘Could you be a Winemaker?’ Work Place Live event, challenges students to discover their palate through a series of blind food tastings, designed to test their ability to taste and smell. Mardi is passionate about demystifying the wine industry and encouraging young people to bring a fresh perspective to this vibrant sector.

Mardi Roberts, Director of Communications
Mardi Roberts, Director of Communications

Ridgeview strongly believes in the importance of sharing our passion and expertise. The future of the English Wine Industry shines brightly and we are dedicated to inspiring the next generation. We open doors, nurture passionate people and pave the way for fresh talent who can take our vibrant sector to new and exciting heights.

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Raising a toast to our community
Join Our Team
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Wellbeing at Work

RIDGEVIEW’S SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY SERIES – PART 2

WELLBEING AT WORK


We are passionate about the wellbeing of our team and creating a happy, healthy working environment for all. Ridgeview’s world leading wine and the wellness of our staff will always go hand-in-hand.

Here’s how and why…

The Ridgeview Family
The Ridgeview Family

OUR FAMILY ETHOS

We are proud to be a second-generation family business and each member of our team becomes an extended part of that. Ridgeview were delighted to win ‘Best London and South-East Family Business’ in the Family Business United Awards in 2021. This is testament to our commitment to empowering our staff to thrive in every aspect of their lives.

WE CELEBRATE TOGETHER

Ridgeview’s lively social committee dream up inventive ways for our team to socialise and have fun, in and outside of work.

From paddle boarding to wine and spirits tastings, a community beach-clean to football friendlies, we are never short on ideas or enthusiasm to socialise and celebrate together!

The Ridgeview Team's 10km Rum
Getting Active Together
Ridgeview's Activity Challenge
Ridgeview's Activity Challenge

We run a number of charitable initiatives as a team, like our staff raffles, foodbank donations and annual activity challenge, a charity initiative masterminded by our CEO, Tamara Roberts.

Our team set personal activity goals which Ridgeview rewards by donating to a monthly charity of choice when they hit their target together.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Ridgeview has developed strong employee support networks.

We encourage walk-and-talk meetings around the vineyard and offer a Cycle-to-Work scheme to promote an active lifestyle that gives back to the planet.

Walk and Talk Meetings in Action
Walking and Talking around the Vineyard
Grapes in our vineyard
Wellness Matters

We have a team of trained mental health first aiders in the workplace and host coffee mornings providing a space to check in, chat and connect.

Our team can access free, confidential and compassionate support through our Employee Assistance Programme. We offer an annual Wellbeing MOT to empower our staff to reach their own health, wellness and lifestyle goals.

OUR CULTURE

We are a vibrant, diverse and dynamic team, with a caring culture of social responsibility who believe in doing business for good. We offer a payroll giving scheme and will be launching Volunteering Days in 2022, providing staff with paid time off to take part in charitable activities close to their hearts.

Ridgeview offers flexible working and part-time patterns to support a healthy work-life balance so our team can thrive in all aspects of their lives.

Our Nook Wellness Pods
Ridgeview's Head Office Meeting Pods

We live and breathe a family ethos, valuing all of our staff as individuals, with a unique story and an important role to play.

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Diversity and Inclusion

RIDGEVIEW’S SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY SERIES – PART 1

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION


Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of our business, and we value each individual based on their unique talent and perspective. Ridgeview is committed to creating an inclusive culture that respects and celebrates the diversity of our people. Our team is built on wide-ranging backgrounds, expertise and experiences and this is central to our success.

Tamara Roberts, CEO

Our CEO, Tamara Roberts, is a member of Wine GB’s Diversity and Inclusion Working Group whose mission is to proactively drive for an equal, accessible and diverse community in every corner of the UK Wine Industry.

Our own Diversity and Inclusion working group is dedicated to continuous monitoring and improvement and Ridgeview are committed to ensuring that our workplace truly reflects and supports the full spectrum of the diverse world that we are all a part of.

The importance of gender diversity is paramount at Ridgeview and we are proud that over 50% of our workforce identify as women; many are in roles where there is typically a lack of female representation, most notably with our CEO, Tamara Roberts, at the helm.

We strive to create a welcoming workplace in which all gender identities and expressions can thrive.

Becca in the Winery
Accreditation Logos

Our rigorous recruitment practises ensure accessibility, objectivity and unbiased decision-making (from application through to employment). Ridgeview offers flexible working and part-time patterns. We are a real living wage employer and are committed to being a disability confident and menopause friendly business.

Winemaking

Our mission is for a working environment that meaningfully supports each and everyone to fulfil their truest potential.

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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.

Why not bid in their upcoming fundraising auction for the chance to win some incredible prizes, from a South African vineyard experience to a private lesson with a Michelin Star chef?

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.