Ridgeview – South Downs
Mike Roberts planted Ridgeview’s first vineyards on the South Downs about 20 miles north of Brighton back in the early 1990s. The chalky soils and globally-warming climate of this part of southern England are extremely similar to Champagne, and so it is Champagne varietals – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier – which are grown here. In this part of Sussex you get lovely ripe fruit flavours due to the warm days, with crisp acidity and lowish alcohol due to the cool English Summer nights; the perfect ingredients for fine sparkling wine, which is 100% the focus here.
Ridgeview has rapidly become one of the top 3 sparkling wine producers in England and have received many awards and high praise from the World’s wine press in their short existence. English wines, similar to Swiss wines, due to the difficulties in growing ripe, healthy grapes, expensive vineyard land and their small production volumes, are by nature expensive. However Ridgeview’s range of sparkling wines is very fairly priced in comparison with other top English sparklers and particularly Champagne; and the quality is just as good as most Non Vintage Champagne brands. This is a winery to watch for the future!