Posted 27th May 2015
In honour of English Wine Week (23rd to 31st May) we visited the Ridgeview wine estate in East Sussex to discover more about their sublime English sparkling wines
Founded in 1994 by Mike and Chris Roberts, Ridgeview has remained a family business dedicated solely to the production of the finest traditional-method sparkling wines from classic Champagne grape varieties, producing an impressive 250,000 bottles of wine per year.
The vineyard climate is ideal for producing sparkling wine as low sunlight levels mean that grapes ripen slowly resulting in a very concentrated, low sugar and high acidity grape perfect for sparkling wine.
Sourcing grapes from 180 acres of vines from within and around the South Down's National Park, Ridgeview make six core sparkling wines – Ridgeview Bloomsbury, a signature Chardonnay, Ridgeview Grosvenor, a multi-award winning single estate Chardonnay, Ridgeview Fitzrovia, an elegant rosé, Ridgeview Cavendish, a traditional pinot, Ridgeview Knightsbridge, an exclusive pinot blend with great length and character, and a Ridgeview Victoria, a beautifully balanced Pinot Rosé, in their purpose built winery complete with underground cellar just a stone's throw from the vineyard.
The winemaking process:
- Whole bunches of grapes are hand-picked and harvested at optimum sugar and acidity levels at the beginning of October to ensure the highest quality wine is produced.
- The wine is made using the same traditional methods as used in making Champagne dating back to the 1700s.
- The wines are then aged for an average of 18 months in the underground cellars where perfect conditions allow slow bottle fermentation to take place.
You can visit the vineyard Monday to Saturday between 11am and 4pm or take a tour of the Ridgeview wine estate every Saturday throughout summer. Visit www.ridgeview.co.uk to find out more.