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.

Table Talk Foundation 2021 Ridgeview Charity Partner

Ridgeview is proud to announce that our 2021 focus charity partner is Table Talk Foundation, an organisation dedicated to raising funds to support both food education for the next generation and the local hospitality industry.

Their inspirational vision and purpose are very much at the heart of Ridgeview’s company values and we are delighted to be supporting their impactful work. Our CEO Tamara Roberts is a trustee for this fantastic new foundation:

“I am very excited to be involved as a trustee of Table Talk Foundation and it was easy to convince the team at Ridgeview to choose this as our nominated charity for 2021. Supporting both food education and the hospitality industry is extremely important for producers like ourselves who rely upon consumer appreciation of quality food and drink and a professional hospitality sector.”

Ridgeview have pledged to donate £1 to Table Talk Foundation for every bottle purchased on our website. This follows on from the near £7000 that Ridgeview donated directly to Hospitality in Action in 2020, helping those in the Hospitality industry at a time of unprecedented crises.

We are looking forward to working with and promoting the brilliant Table Talk Foundation throughout 2021. The money raised will support grants awarded to Sussex schools and the hospitality industry as well as their wider work seeking to educate, connect and inspire.

Now that is something to celebrate!

Sussex by the glass – Liz Sagues Wine Book

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 & Jimmy Visit Ridgeview

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.”

Sussex Success Story

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.”

Introducing Ridgeview Oak Reserve

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.

Ridgeview Harvest 2020

In such an interesting year, we are very grateful for the glorious weather in 2020.  We did have some challenges with spring frosts, particularly the last late one in the middle of May, but with our usual care and attention we lit our bougies (frost protection candles) four times which saved the vineyard and no frost damage was recorded.

Due to such big harvests in 2018 & 19, the 2020 yields are lower and more in line with our average. A comparatively smaller vintage will be helpful in light of the additional Covid-19  protocols required in the winery during harvest. This latest September heatwave will ensure a high quality vintage as sugars are rising by the minute and the fruit is currently looking incredibly clean, with the Pinot Meunier and the Chardonnay looking stellar.

We are expecting to begin picking at Ridgeview on the 24th of September which will be one of our earliest harvests reflecting an extremely rapid phase between verasion and ripening, normally this would take around 5 weeks but this year it has been two weeks. The forecast for the next week or so looks like it is remaining dry so we are very excited about the potential of 2020 harvest – one good thing to celebrate anyway!

Celebrating English Wine Week with ‘A Glimpse Behind the Scenes’

English Wine Week kicks off on Saturday 20th June and to celebrate, we would like to share with you ‘A Glimpse Behind The Scenes’ at Ridgeview

‘A Glimpse Behind the Scenes’

Join our CEO Tamara, Head Winemaker Simon and Vineyard Manager Matt as they offer you a behind the scenes journey from grape to glass …

With every online wine purchase, from now and throughout English Wine Week, receive access to a new 10-minute video giving you insight into the craft of producing award-winning sparkling wines.

Simply place your order as usual and receive a link and digital code in your confirmation email.

ENGLISH WINE WEEK DIGITAL EVENTS

We are collaborating with some wonderful partners to host a variety of digital tastings and events across English Wine Week.  For full information, follow the links below.

Wine & Spirit Educational Trust WSET Seminar with Brandon Barnham on Monday 22nd June 6 pm

Club Enologique columnist,  Joe Fattorini interviewing IWSC President Tamara Roberts on Instagram Live on Tuesday 23rd June 6.30 pm

Wine Society Instagram Live with Mardi Roberts on Wednesday 24th June 5.30 pm

Brighton Chamber of Commerce Virtual Tour & Tasting with CEO Tamara Roberts on Thursday 25th June 3.30 pm

We will also be collaborating with the International Wine & Spirit Competition, of which Tamara Roberts is the 2020 President, with a prize giveaway. See here for details of how you could win a case of our current release sparkling wines.

DELIVERY INFORMATION & OPENING TIMES

We continue to offer complimentary next day delivery on all orders placed before 11 am and are donating £2 for every bottle purchased to the charity Hospitality in Action.

From Thursday 18th June, Ridgeview’s onsite shop will be open every Thursday, Friday & Saturday from 11am – 4pm. The shop is open for drop-in sales of wines & gift sets or collection of pre-ordered items only. In line with current government guidelines, our vineyard and winery remain closed to visitors and for the time being and we are not currently offering tours or tastings.

Whether toasting the sunshine or finally being able to see a loved one, English Wine Week is the perfect opportunity to celebrate, buy local and take time to appreciate the hand-crafted expertise that goes into making Ridgeview English sparkling wine.

RIDGEFEST UPDATE

Thank you for your continued support of Ridgeview. We want to give you an update regarding our 3rd Annual RIDGEFEST, due to take place on Saturday 29th August 2020.

Throughout these challenging times, we have been cautiously optimistic about the possibility of hosting our festival and hoped it was something we could all look forward to. We have been closely monitoring the UK Government Covid-19 guidelines and it is now clear to us that we won’t be in a position to host RIDGEFEST this year. With a heavy heart, we must take the difficult decision to reschedule this year’s event.  In making this decision, we have prioritised your health and safety, as well as that of our incredible vendors, artists, staff, and crew.

We can confirm that RIDGEFEST will be back on Saturday 28th August 2021 and we will be making the most of the extra time to bring you a festival that is bigger and better than ever before!

Existing ticket holders need not do anything – we will work behind the scenes to update your tickets over the coming weeks and be in touch. Transferring your ticket will mean that you are guaranteed entry to RIDGEFEST 2021at 2020 prices. Early-bird and general release tickets for 2020 sold out in record time, so there is no need to miss out.

In better news, we are working on plans to welcome you back to Ridgeview very soon. Hopefully, it also won’t be long before you can enjoy our locally sourced picnic hampers by the vines, or a glass of sparkling in the sun in our Ridgeview Wine Garden. As restrictions lift, we will be phasing our reopening in a safe and socially-distant way so if you don’t already receive our newsletters, sign up here to remain up to date on everything going on at the estate.

We really can’t thank you all enough for your continued support and enthusiasm for our amazing RIDGEFEST and we hope to share a glass of fizz in the sunshine with you very soon.

If you have any questions or wish to request a refund, please contact retail@ridgeview.co.uk. Please note: Refund requests will be accepted for the next 4 weeks (before Sunday 12th July 2020).

Stay safe,

The Ridgeview Team

Raising a glass of M&S Marksman for VE Day

During World War Two, Marks and Spencer employees pitched together to raise money for the war effort. They incredibly raised £5K, which was enough to actually purchase a Spitfire aircraft which was named Marksman in honour of the employees efforts.
 
Upon researching a name for Ridgeview 2008 blend, with M&S our founder Mike Roberts MBE, came across this story and was so struck by the sentiment that he named our blend after the Spitfire. Ridgeview Marksman English sparkling was born and exists on the M&S shelves today. This amazing wine has been blended in partnership with the Ridgeview Winemaking team and M&S Winemaker Sue Daniels. It went onto win Gold & Trophy for the Best English Sparkling Wine in the International Wine & Spirit Competition – IWSC 2018
 
On VE day we thought this would be an appropriate time to raise a glass of M&S Marksman in honour of those inspirational M&S employees, the 21-year-old Canadian Pilot Officer John Sills, who was killed in action in the Marksman and giving thanks to those who lived through the Second World War for their determination and sacrifices on our behalf 🥂