Ridgeview Wine Estate has announced bold expansion plans to double the size of its winery, with work due to start on a new £1m facility in the next 12 months.
One of the UK's best-known and respected sparkling wine producers, Ridgeview has expanded steadily since its foundation in 1995, and currently makes 350,000 bottles a year. The new 10,000m2 winery would allow it to expand production by over 30% and aim for a goal of 500,000 bottles a year by 2020.
Ridgeview ages its standard sparkling wines for two to three years on lees, and is currently at full capacity, with over 250,000 bottles in its cellars.
'We still won't be the biggest,' marketing manager Mardi Roberts told Imbibe. 'We just want to stay focused on quality, but demand is outstripping supply at the moment. The winemaking equipment we have will last us another ten years – it's more about extra storage and winemaking space.
'We're hoping to start in about March, and we'd like to get it all done by bottling next year.'
Based in Ditchling, Sussex, Ridgeview is one of the pioneers of the renaissance of English wine. As well as a strong showing across the UK and regular Gold Medals in the Sommelier Wine Awards, it exports 20% of its production, most of it to the US and Scandinavia.