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Royal support for Ridgeview expansion

Published:  17 May, 2019

Ridgeview CEO Tamara Roberts and her team welcomed HRH Duchess of Cornwall yesterday for a tour of the estate as part of a Royal visit to cultural and gastronomic hot spots in East Sussex.

Meeting many of the Ridgeview team on an extensive tour through the winery and vines, the Duchess – who is president of Wine GB - also viewed the progress of the estate’s new 1.8m winery, with an underground cellar capable of storing up to 1 million bottles, which is due for completion this August.

With the below ground cellar levels now complete and construction on the above ground building pretty much on target, the new facility will allow the company to double production to meet fast growing demand for its English sparkling wines both in the UK and from export markets.

Built by Trinder architects and Axio Builders, the project has been supported by Clydesdale Bank, along with joint-funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Speaking in the tasting room over a glass of the IWC Trophy-winning Ridgeview Blanc de Blancs, her Royal Highness described the visit as a “huge pleasure”, adding that of her many roles as honourary patron or president of organisations, one of her favourite, “is being President of Wines of GB”.

Ridgeview CEO Tamara Roberts, who showed the Duchess of Cornwall around the winery, introducing Camilla to members of the Ridgeview team and supporters from trade and industry, said: “We are delighted to be included in the Royal visit to East Sussex, which is testament to the ever-increasing profile of English sparkling wine and Ridgeview’s prominent position within the industry.”

With a remarkably good 2018 harvest in the cellar, having delivered an all time high 15.6m bottles of English and Welsh wine, English wine exports have doubled in the past 12 months, with 40 different countries now importing GB wines.

Chris Foss, soon-to-retire founder of Plumpton College’s Wine Division, was also present, with Ridgeview describing the event as a “great moment for Ridgeview to honour [his] retirement”, following 31 years of improving and growing English wine training and education to the internationally-recognised status it enjoys today.

Ridgeview and its team are currently riding on a high, having just been crowned Best International Winemaker at this year’s International Wine and Spirit Competition.