Author Archive

Mardi Roberts, Ridgeview, Sussex:

Grapes at Ridgeview

Grapes at Ridgeview

2013 has been a fantastic growing season for Ridgeview.
We began the year with delayed budburst due to quite a cold winter; the benefit of the delay was that this lessened the period that we were at risk of frost. We had a very warm start to the summer which meant that we had perfect conditions for flowering, resulting in a fantastic and very even fruit set.

The good weather has carried right through the season giving us lovely clean bunches with above average yields which are ripening very nicely. We will expect to harvest our Ridgeview grapes on or around the 14th of October which is consistent with previous harvest dates.
Our anticipation is that the 2013 vintage will be of very good size, excellent quality with both sugar and acidity levels in harmony for what we consider perfect for bottle-fermented sparkling wine.

Martin Fowke, Three Choirs, Gloucestershire:

Three Choirs vineyard

Three Choirs vineyard

Things are looking good at Three Choirs, although the harvest is much later than we have become used to in recent years. We have only just started picking, which is about two weeks later than average. This is due primarily to the very late start to the season, and the fact that we have a bigger crop on the vine to ripen.
The weather is holding up quite well, temperatures are still good, especially when the sun comes out, and the nights are not going too low. The crop is clean, and looks like it will hang for a while. The acid balance in the grape looks to be good this year, and so we are optimistic that the quality of the 2013 wines will be good. As we have had low yields for several years, this increased volume will help to fill the cellar up again! So the feeling is that we have an excellent quality/quantity balance!

Categories : England
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Thu 10 Jan 2013

Best Way To Remove a Wax Capsule?

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A wax capsule

Beyond the vinous obvious, what do The Society’s current selections from Rioja, Portugal and the Savoie have in common?

The answer is that they contain some wines with a wax (rather than the more common plastic) capsule.

Smart though these capsules undoubtedly look, I have been asked a few times what the best way is to remove these capsules without an unwelcome decorating of the kitchen floor.

I find the best method to be:

1. Wrap the capsule and top part of the neck of the bottle in a glasscloth.

2. Tap the wax top of the capsule lightly but firmly with a slightly heavy object, perhaps the handle of your corkscrew; enough to cause the wax to crack and break up.

3. Carefully remove the glasscloth containing the wax pieces and dispose of them.

4. Insert corkscrew, remove cork and enjoy!

Mark Buckenham
Society Buyer

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For those who are interested in trying some English wines this summer, take a look at my “How to Buy England” guide that has just been published on The Society’s website.

Seldom a week seems to go past without exaltations of the quality of English wine in the media and trade; not to mention St George-like stories of giant-beating English fizz trouncing a Francophile equivalent in a blind tasting. The patriotism is understandable: the quality of wines coming out of England right now is definitely on the up, and with this in mind, I have identified in the guide many of the grape varieties used – sometimes exclusively – in the production of English wines. I hope you enjoy getting to know them.

Click here to read the new guide.

We will be also publishing an Explore English Wine offer next week, including a mixed case at a very keen price!

Mark Buckenham
England Buyer

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Tue 14 Jun 2011

MBE for Ridgeview’s Mike Roberts

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Mike Roberts Ridgeview

Mike Roberts, MBE

Many congratulations to Mike Roberts, founder, director and winemaker at Ridgeview Wine Estate who has been recognised in the Queens Birthday honours. He has been awarded an MBE for his services to the drinks industry through his position as Chairman of the English Wine Producers.

Mike currently supplies The Society with two sparkling wines Ridgeview Bloomsbury, 2008 and Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rosé, 2008. The 2004 Fitzrovia Rosé was recently served by Her Majesty The Queen at a dinner at Buckingham Palace attended by President Obama and other guests.

Well done Mike!!

PS: Look out for our offer of English wines due to be made in August, which will include Ridgeview sparklers.

Categories : England
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Fri 12 Mar 2010

Whisky News

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Todays news is that the world’s oldest Speyside malt whisky has gone on sale for up to £10,000 a bottle. It is Mortlach 70 year old which was filled into cask 15th October 1938 and bottled exactly 70 years later.

Wine Society members may not be able to lay their hands on a bottle, but we do currently offer an 18 year old 40% Mortlach and a 19 year old natural strength 55% Mortlach at £21 and £29 respectively. What a bargain!!

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