The Ridgeview Wine Estate was last night proclaimed Sussex Drink Producer of the Year at the 10th annual Sussex Food & Drink Awards head at Brighton’s Amex Stadium.

The awards are voted for by members of the public and are designed to celebrate excellence among both local producers and retailers.

Tamara Roberts, Ridgeview’s Chief Executive Officer said “We are so proud to have received this award.  It is really important that we support our local community in the work that we do and this award proves that they support us in return.

“The fact that this has been voted for by our customers makes it very special and it inspires us to keep improving, work harder and continue to succeed.  Sussex is emerging as a leading area for internationally acclaimed sparkling wine production so we are honoured to be recognised amongst such great competition.”

The events was hosted by Sally Gunnell OBE DL and Danny Pike of BBC Sussex.

Ridgeview Wine Estate was founded in 1995 by Mike & Chris Roberts.  Mike, who many members may remember, was awarded in MBE for his contribution to the English Wine industry in 2011, died after a long illness in November 2014.  The Roberts Family were awarded the UK Wine Guild’s Highest Achievement Award in November 2015.

It has revealed ambitious plans to double its output by 2020, and has planted over 80 ha of new vines to expand production.

Ridgeview’s wines are available to purchase from their winery on Ditchling Common and in local wine shops as well as Waitrose nationwide.  They are also now exported to some 14 countries worldwide, including the US, Japan & Australia.