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English sparkling beats top Champagnes at Decanter World Wine Awards

East Sussex winery Ridgeview took the top sparkling wine trophy at last night’s Decanter World Wine Awards – to the amazement of its owners.

Ridgeview’s Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs 2006 beat competition from five Champagnes, including the Taittinger Prélude NV, Charles Heidsieck Millésime 2000 and Thienot’s Brut Rosé NV to win International Trophy for Sparkling Wine Over £10.

Founder and winemaker Mike Roberts – who had invited his entire staff to the ceremony at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden – told decanter.com they were simply not expecting to win.

‘We were looking at it simply as a good night out. We’d won the Regional Trophy and had absolutely no idea we’d got the International.’

During the announcement, Roberts said, he suddenly thought, ‘Bloody hell, they’re going to mention the Grosvenor next.’

Decanter’s Tastings Director, Christelle Guibert, said this was an incredible home-grown success. ‘What a result,’ she said. ‘As if further proof was ever needed, this unequivocally rubberstamps England’s membership to that exclusive club of truly world class, sparkling wine producers. Up against a clutch of Champagne’s finest, Ridgeview has produced a stupendous wine that defeated them all. It’s a truly remarkable win.’

Ridgeview, a 5.8ha family-run estate in the Sussex Downs, usually makes five different cuvees in any one year, all named after areas of London. As well as its award-winning Grosvenor, recent blends include Bloomsbury, Cavendish, Fitzrovia and Knightsbridge.

Roberts founded Ridgeview with his wife Christine in 1995. Their daughter Tamara, their son Simon and his wife Mardi all work for the winery.

dgeview Estate is a family business with a 16-acre vineyard on the South Downs. Set up husband and wife Michael and Christine Roberts in 1995, it is now a fully-fledged family business with their daughter Tamara, their son Simon and his wife Mardi all working for the winery.

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Written by Adam Lechmere

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