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Published:  23 July, 2008

RidgeView, the sparkling wine made in Sussex, has been awarded a silver medal in the French wine competition Vinalies Internationales 2004, held in Paris last month. RidgeView's 1999 Cuve Merret Knightsbridge, produced from grapes grown near Ditchling, about nine miles north of Brighton, was awarded the medal by the French Union of Oenologists, who gathered the best international tasting experts for the competition. Vinalies Internationales received 2,028 wines from 31 wine-producing countries. RidgeView's 1999 Knightsbridge was the sole English wine honoured. Only 23 Champagnes were awarded a silver medal, including Mumm Grand Cru Brut, H Blin Brut (Ros), Lanson Brut (Ros) and Pannier Brut Selection. RidgeView winemaker Mike Roberts said: This is a wonderful, truly international pat on the back. Being awarded the medal in France really does make you feel that we are being recognised as world class.' Production at RidgeView is 30-40,000 bottles a year and the winery specialises in growing only the three classic French Champagne grape varieties - Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. 1999 Knightsbridge is its first Blanc de Noir. Mike and Christine Roberts set up RidgeView in 1994. Their son Simon is assistant winemaker and vineyard manager, and his Australian-born wife, Mardi, co-ordinates the sales and marketing. RidgeView's Cuve Merret sparkling wines are named after the 16th-century Englishman Christopher Merret, who was making traditional method sparkling wine in London 30 years before Dom Prignon.