Hot on the heels of our staff trip to Bitburger in Germany, our next trip was a little closer to home in Sussex, but no less fascinating.
Matt took a group of team members from the Beach House, Corner House and Tap House into the heart of the South Downs to visit the vineyard and winery of Ridgeview, supplier of our wonderful Ridgeview Bloomsbury English fizz.
The team were able to see the vineyards, which started life back in 1995, in all their glory. Planted in the foothills of the South Downs, the soil is a perfect combination of chalk and clay to sustain the classic grape varieties grown there including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The vines benefit from high levels of natural acidity which is exactly what is needed to produce Ridgeview’s incredible sparkling wine.
The winery was also incredible to see, a mix of traditional methods with modern, specialist machinery to enhance the process of wine-making without taking over. The team at Ridgeview still handpick their grapes and use very gentle pressing techniques to ensure the highest standards of wine production. Their bespoke, underground wine cellar is unique in England and also means that the wine produced can be stored perfectly.
All of this hard work and effort is clear when tasting Ridgeview’s wines and its not difficult to understand why it is frequently served not only in No 10 Downing Street but also Buckingham Palace. What better way to show off England’s finest produce. 20 years after the first vines were planted, Ridgeview now produce more than a quarter of a million bottles which are sold across the World and of course, most importantly, supplied to us in Worthing and Shoreham!
Have you tried Ridgeview’s Bloomsbury English Fizz yet? Available at all our establishments by the bottle or by the glass.