As Winston Churchill once said, “I could not live without Champagne. In victory I deserve it, in defeat I need it.” Sparkling wine is one of life’s great pleasure, and the French have long been considered the masters of sparkling wine. If you would have told Churchill that his own country would be able to produce sparkling wine to rival Champagne, he may have called you crazy. However, 50 years after his death, there is now world class English sparkling wine.
For this episode, I had the distinct pleasure of speaking to Simon Roberts, Head Winemaker at Ridgeview Wine Estate in Sussex, England. Ridgeview is one of the preeminent English sparkling wine producers, and has been described as the “grandaddy of English sparkling-wine producers” by Jancis Robinson, England’s top wine expert. Simon is a second generation member of Ridgeview’s founding family, and we talked about how his family helped pioneer sparkling wine in England, what it means to be a family business, supporting local agriculture, sustainability, and of course, talk about how sparkling wine is make. My favorite part may be hearing him explain how 3 different grapes contribute to the flavor of a finished wine.
Pop open a bottle of Ridgeview wine, and learn more about sparkling wine by listening to this episode. You can listen using the player below, by clicking here to listen on iTunes, or finding us on your favorite podcast player. Enjoy!
simon roberts & ridgeview wine estate
Ridgeview began in 1995, when Mike and Chris Roberts started making English sparkling wine from the classic French varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. The winery was focused on creating high quality wines showcasing the chalky soils of the South Downs in Sussex, England. Over 20 years later, the Roberts family still owns and operates the winery, and has established an unrivaled reputation for creating exceptional English sparkling wine.
Simon Roberts is a second generation member of the Roberts family involved at Ridgeview Wine Estate, and holds the position of head winemaker. Simon was kind enough to share his time with us for the podcast, and we deeply appreciate the insight he shared with us. As his biography states, he’s a winemaker who prefers minimal intervention, and likes to let the grapes speak for themselves. He’s also enjoys cooking, and shared some of his favorite food pairings for sparkling wine on the podcast!
You can find more information about Ridgeview’s history, people, winemaking practices, sustainable practices, and wines on their website. Just click here to visit the site!
Bloomsbury is Ridgeview’s signature blend. It showcases the beautiful terroir of England, and is one of the best values you will find for high quality, traditional style sparkling wine. At least in my opinion! The wine is a Chardonnay predominant blend with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier blended with the Chardonnay. This wine shows a beautiful aromatic profile of tropical and citrus fruits, along with a bit of bread and yeast notes. This is a wine of sophistication but stays crisp and fresh.
Listen to the podcast to hear Simon explain how each of the 3 grapes adds unique elements to the wine. It’s a rare opportunity to taste a wine with its maker, and something to cherish. You’ll learn something new!
Through December 31st, 2018, Ridgeview Bloomsbury will be on sale for $39.99/bottle + tax at LGCM – a $5 savings. Get a bottle for all of your Holiday celebrations! We’ll also be sampling the wine on December 29th, and December 31st. Check out our Facebook event page for details.
Once again, thank you to Simon for his time, and Ridgeview Wine Estate and Banville Wine for arranging the interview. We also got the pictures for this post from them, so thank you for those! We hope you enjoyed the episode, and we hope you pick up a bottle of Ridgeview to try! Have a wonderful Holiday season, and if you have any questions, leave us a comment below. Cheers!