Visit to Ridgeview Wine Estate

Much like the fabled chocolate factory (from that well-loved book) Ridgeview Wine Estate houses many a secret.

Although no Oompaloompas were spotted, there’s no doubt that some sort of magic goes on within the state-of-the-art winery.

So, Phil & Vikki hopped in a taxi from The Bull (it’s just a minute or two) and joined a group of Ridgeview stockists from around the country to take a peek behind the scenes.

Start the Day

Phil & Vikki were warmly welcomed to Ridgeview with coffee & pastries. They then spent time chin-wagging with the other invitees – some of whom had travelled miles to attend the day.

Time for the Tour

Enigmatic Simon (the Director of Wine Making) showed them how the grapes were harvested. He talked through the process of harvesting, pressing and fermenting the grapes.

He explained that all the vineyards are less than 10-miles from the sea, giving the grapes a rather scrumptious salinity. Base wine was tasted from Chardonnay grapes that had been pressed that morning. You don’t get fresher than that.

Wined and Dined

Nibbles were brought to the table, and bottles of Bloomsbury, Cavendish, Fitzrovia Rosé (once served to Barak Obama at Buckingham Palace) and Blanc de Blanc were popped.

The full, delicious range of sparkling wine was sampled in the sunshine of the Rows & Vines on-site restaurant.

Apart from the wine (obviously) Phil’s highlight was viewing an impossibly enormous storage unit. Where over 7000 bottles of wine slumbered (including some archive wines that had been there since 2003.) Wonderfully dusty, the bottles lay quietly aging – awaiting distribution to retailers, restaurants and pubs around the country.

It’s a privilege to spend time in the company of the passionate people behind the wines. Tours and tastings come highly recommended by the team at The Bull.

If you visit Ridgeview during your stay in Ditchling, be sure to swing by and tell us all about your day….over a glass of Blanc de Blanc at the bar (naturally)