Ridgeview were delighted to partner with iconic British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood at her London fashion week show. Dame Vivienne Westwood used the catwalk for a theatrical and political show highlighting her stance on modern issues from climate change to Brexit.
The Autumn-Winter 2019/20 show entitled ‘Homo Loquax’ – meaning chattering man, was held within the beautiful 18th century church in St John’s Smith Square in London. Ridgeview sparkling wines were in full flow as guests backstage were welcomed with a glass of Bloomsbury NV, and the Ridgeview team were there to present the wines.
The inspiring event was attended by fashion industry representatives from around the world and guests such as Tracey Emin and Jasmine Guinness. American activist and actress Rose McGowan and executive director of Greenpeace John Sauven were part of the cast highlighting environmental issues concerning climate change. The main message of the show was “Buy less, Choose well, Make it last” – Vivienne Westwood.
Ridgeview’s CEO Tamara Roberts who attended the event commented; ‘It is wonderful to partner with the brilliantly iconic Vivienne Westwood. She is a true icon who is passionate and outspoken in her beliefs and has no fear in constantly pushing the boundaries. It was a privilege for our Ridgeview sparkling wines to be a part of her ground-breaking show”.
Ridgeview are delighted to have been awarded the coveted trophy of Winemaker of the Year in the prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition 2018. This is the first time in the IWSC’s 49-year history that this has been presented to an English producer. The IWSC attracts entries from over 90 countries and is seen as a benchmark for quality with over 400 global experts assisting with the judging. The award was announced at the Guildhall in London with guests gathered from the global wine world.
CEO Tamara Roberts commented; ‘It is difficult to comprehend the enormity of this award to Ridgeview and the family. Being the first English sparkling wine producer to win such a coveted trophy from the ‘Oscars’ of the wine world is a huge achievement. I love the IWSC for its uncompromising focus on quality which gives all producers a way of benchmarking their wines against the very best in the world. Being recognised as the Winemaker of the Year shows just what can be done when quality is at the heart of everything you do. Our achievements will always be tinged with sadness that Dad is no longer here with us, but we take great comfort that we are living his dream and that life really is for celebrating’.
Ridgeview were also awarded ‘English Producer of Year’ and ‘English Wine of the Year’ for their Marksman 2014, a collaboration with Marks & Spencer. As winners of the best English Wine Trophy Ridgeview were eligible for the overall world-wide trophy and were ecstatic to be even considered in such illustrious company.
Head Winemaker Simon Roberts added: “We are truly honoured to be awarded this accoldade, we have always held the IWSC with the highest regard. When we first started Ridgeview it was our goal to win the best bottle fermented sparkling which we did go on to win twice! To win Winemaker of the Year is amazing, especially humbling amongst previous winners who we hold with the greatest esteem.”
This award has topped off a great year for Ridgeview with the 2018 vintage, the biggest and best harvest on record which is due to be released in Ridgeview’s 25th anniversary celebration year in 2020.
Ridgeview’s 2018 harvest is officially over and on record as our biggest and best since we were established in 1995.
We were very fortunate with the weather throughout the year, dry and sunny at the key viticultural points, budburst, flowering, ripening and harvest. We anticipated the heavy volumes early on and therefore decided to invest in quite a lot in fruit thinning (green harvesting). A large crop can make ripening difficult, however our hard work pre-harvest paid off and veraison was early at around mid-August.
The September spell of great weather with clear days and a drop in the night time temperatures was crucial in maintaining acidity levels, which is key to quality. We began accepting grapes into the winery at our earliest ever date. The quality of the fruit was amazing with very large bunches and incredibly clean which made it a dream to pick.
“Honestly, hand on heart this is the best crop I have ever seen in my 17 years at Ridgeview, phenomenal!” commented our Vineyard Manager Matt Strugnell.
A difficulty we have had this year is fluctuations on yield estimations which resulted in a challenge for logistics. With so much fruit coming in and above predicted weights we have had to have last minute orders for tanks to make space in the winery which has been an industry wide issue.
Our Winemaker Simon Roberts remarked: “It is unusual for a harvest to have both high yields and incredible quality in both sugar and acidity. The juice is tasting amazing with lots of complexity and length”.
We have pressed 560 tonnes which will be our biggest ever harvest since 367 tonnes in 2014. This actually equates to over 3 million bunches of beautifully clean ripe fruit. We are incredibly excited about the quality and importantly quantity of the 2018 vintage wines due for release during 2020 when we will be celebrating Ridgeview’s 25 anniversary.