AT A GLANCE:
Position: No 36
Name of wine estate: Ridgeview
Wine region: Sussex
Standout points: HRH-approved English sparkling wine amid the rolling hills of the South Downs
Winemaker: Simon Roberts
Wine style: Traditional-method sparkling wines
English wine is booming
For anyone still in doubt about whether England makes wine, it’s worth noting that three million new vines were planted in England last year. The industry continues to go from strength to strength, with higher quality wines being produced, exciting new producers emerging, and veterans refining their wine and tourist offerings.
Ridgeview is among the very best sparkling wine producers in England – as its many accolades attest. The Queen has served Ridgeview sparkling at several major state events, including the Silver Jubilee, while Ridgeview sparkling is also an official sparkling wine for events held at No 10 Downing Street. Founder Mike Roberts was awarded an MBE for his services to English wine in 2011. The second generation of the Roberts family now have lead roles in the business, with Tamara Roberts as CEO and Simon Roberts as head winemaker.
A picture-perfect setting
Situated in the pretty little village of Ditchling within the South Downs National Park, the winery adjacent to the vineyard has state-of-the-art facilities offering visitors an insight into the production of its Champagne-method sparkling wine. Ridgeview even has its own area of English woods for visitors to stroll through. Tours of the vineyard and winery followed by a tutored tasting are available by booking in advance on the website. From May to September, Ridgeview’s Wine Garden adjacent to the vines is open for visitors to drop-in and enjoy their wines by the glass.
A midsummer dream
Summer is the perfect time to visit the estate. Throughout the season hampers filled with the best local produce, including Sussex charcuterie, smoked salmon and cheeses, are available to enjoy in the garden. Ridgeview also hosts a variety of chef takeover dinners and outdoor garden events. Don’t miss ‘Ridgefest’ – a mini festival setting amid the vines with live music and street food – in August.