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The vineyard was established in 1995 by Mike and Christine Roberts, nestled at the foot of the South Downs near the village of Ditchling in East Sussex, on south facing slopes just 7 miles from the sea. These slopes are on a low ridge (hence the name) of paludina limestone on top of a sandstone bed; paludina limestone is known as “Sussex Marble” and is made up of snail fossils. Here they have mild winters because the Downs create a rain shadow, keeping the microclimate comparatively dry and warm in summer, helping the grapes achieve excellent ripeness and wonderful natural acidity. Ridgeview were one of the first English wineries to focus on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier for the production of Traditional Method sparkling wines. They pressed their first grapes in 1997 and released their first wine in 2000, the Classic Bloomsbury, which became Ridgeview’s signature wine. This was poured as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Mike died in 2014, and now his and Chris’ children are at the helm, with Tamara the CEO and Simon the Head Winemaker. Today the estate has nine acres planted with Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, and 7.5 with Chardonnay. They farm sustainably and have invested in waste treatment, Bio-Bubble, cover-crop biodiversity and solar power initiatives. A minimal intervention approach is taken in their modern winery, where the hand-picked grapes are crafted into award-winning wines. Ridgeview have received well over 100 medals and trophies and were awarded Best International Winemaker in 2018 by IWSC. You will see the words Cuvée Merret on Ridgeview's wines. This is in honour of Englishman, Christopher Merret who, on the 17th December 1662, presented a paper to the newly formed Royal Society describing the process of making a wine sparkling - and this was more than 30 years before the French made their first documented sparkling Champagne and over 70 years before the first Champagne house was established in 1729. Ridgeview produce a selection of crisp, bright and elegant, world-class sparkling wines, stylishly presented and lovingly crafted in the heart of Sussex.