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.
Launched on International Women’s Day by award-winning wine journalist Liz Sagues, Sussex by the Glass is the story of wines, vines and two pioneering families, Ridgeview and Bolney. With interviews from the people behind both wineries and a focus on their leading female CEOs, the book captures the wonderful stories and images, celebrating the trials, tribulations and triumphs.
Author Liz Sagues: “I wanted to add to the information available on English wine, but in a different and very human way. The stories of Ridgeview and Bolney are timely and special, and weaving an overall picture of wine in Sussex around them was exciting and rewarding for me. I hope readers will enjoy the words as much as fine English wine.”
The book is published at a celebratory moment with Ridgeview toasting 25 years in 2020 and Bolney reaching its 50th birthday in 2022. Written, designed and printed in Sussex, the book is illustrated with more than 100 colour photographs. With education in mind it also focuses on sustainability issues, tourism and a month-by-month account of vineyard and winery activity.
Importantly, Sussex by the Glass stretches beyond our individual stories to explain the past and present significance of Sussex in England’s fastest-growing agriculture sector. Liz is a natural storyteller who has managed to unearth some behind the scenes gems captured with beautiful supporting images, embodying the spirit behind the rise of our pioneering family wine businesses.
Sussex by the Glass by Liz Sagues is available to purchase online direct from Ridgeview here.
Jamie Oliver and his best mate Jimmy Doherty tried their hand at becoming Winemakers on a visit to Ridgeview. Filmed before the pandemic in the Summer of 2019 as a part of their Friday Night Feast program Jamie and Jamie visited us on their quest to the South Downs of Sussex to explore English sparkling wine.
Aired on Friday 29th of January at 8pm Channel 4, we feature alongside guest host Susan Sarandon in the final episode of the series. As a part of every show Jamie & Jimmy set themselves a series of challenges. In this episode we see Jimmy leading Jamie to the South Downs in Sussex; he has heard English sparkling is competing with some of the best wines in the world and wants to learn more.
Jamie & Jimmy join our Head Winemaker Simon Roberts as apprentices for the day, trying their hand at blending the base wines. It was then Simons job to judge who had created the best blend.
Simon commented: “What an honour to have Jamie, Jimmy and the team spend the morning with us at Ridgeview. With their passion for all things wine and knowledgeable palates, they made for great apprentices. We have always been admirers of Jamie & Jimmy, and we had so much fun filming with lots of laughs.”
In a year that has been such a challenge for us all, to be voted ‘Sussex success Story’ in the Virtual Business Awards was truly uplifting for the whole Ridgeview team. The Awards spear headed by Sam Thomas, editor of Sussex Business Times were nominated by members of the Sussex business community, to celebrate achievements in 2020. The evening was a credit to the organisors in making the virtual platform such a fun event, whilst raising money for the fantastic Rockinghorse Charity. Ridgeview were proud to celebrate alongside the other brilliant Sussex Business winners Brighton Gin, Float Spa, Creative Pod, Hove Squash & Fitness and Turning Tides.
Ridgeview CEO Tamara Roberts was very pleased to accept the award on behalf of the Ridgeview team:
“It is an honour to be voted by our peers in the Sussex business community as 2020 ‘Sussex Success Story’. This year has been such a challenge and a credit to our team in their resilience against all the obstacles, a testament in perseverance in our 25th year. Most importantly we thank all our brilliant loyal local supporters and those that will be toasting in hopefully a better 2021 with Ridgeview.”
To mark our 25th Anniversary, we have launched our first new wine in a decade – Ridgeview Oak Reserve NV. The project especially curated our Director of Winemaking, Simon Roberts was inspired by his love of subtly oaked sparkling wines:
“With careful use of oak-aged Chardonnay, we have created a Ridgeview barrel fermented sparkling wine. Some of the very best Chardonnay grapes were selected from our home vineyard in Ditchling, planted in 1995. I have always loved what delicate oak can bring to Chardonnay and this project has allowed me to explore the additional creaminess from the oak, in harmony with our normal fresh fruit style. We have made an unique batch of 2,600 bottles which I think is one of the most exciting wines that we have released.”
The Oak Reserve has an innovative new label design based on the texture of wood barrels. Excitingly Ridgeview Oak Reserve has just been awarded the Sparflex English Sparkling Wine Label of the Year in the 2020 Drinks Business Awards, commended for its ‘Daringly different design’. Designed in consultation with Brighton-based drinks designers Cookchick, printed on Fasson Natural Cherry Wood paper, making not only the contents amazing but a beautiful tactile experience to each bottle. Specialist label printers Reflex printed the project which was unlike any label that they had printed before, pushing technological boundaries.
Ridgeview Oak Reserve has received fantastic pre-release reviews including by Matthew Jukes: “It is bright white, lifted and energetic on the nose and palate and the oak shines through with faint smoky, nutty, pie crust hints .. I cannot recommend it enough because this is one of the most carefully assembled, barrel-influenced wines made in the UK to date.”
Each bottle has been carefully hand-labelled, with the first release limited to just 1000 bottles. At £75 Ridgeview Oak Reserve is available to purchase online direct from Ridgeview online, from our cellar door 11 am – 4 pm and Butlers Wine Cellars in Brighton.