Ridgeview Wine Estate Blanc de Noir 2013
Blend: 55% Pinot Noir, 45% Pinot Meunier
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Being just 88 miles north of Champagne with almost identical geology and climate, it is not surprising that Ridgeview wines are being compared by wine writers to those of the quintessential sparkling wine area. Just a little further North from Champagne is the South Downs of Sussex, the geological formation of which continues through to the east of France down to Champagne. Cool nights make it ideally suited for the growing of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier for traditional method sparkling wines. The combination of chalk and clay in the Downland area of South East England bears an uncanny similarity to the Champagne region. Ridgeview Estate is just 1½ miles north of the highest point on the Sussex Downs - Ditchling Beacon. The whole estate runs to 30 acres (12 hectares). Ridgeview now has partnership vineyards across the South East of England totaling 170 acres who work together with Ridgeview to produce the finest quality fruit.
Ridgeview Estate is located on a low ridge of paludina limestone, on top of a sandstone bed. Sloping southwards towards the Downs and just seven miles from the sea, the winters are mild. The high hills to the south create a rain shadow, keeping the micro climate comparatively dry and positively hot in the summer. The cooler climate enables the grapes to retain high levels of natural acidity when they are fully ripe which is crucial to producing sparkling wines with fine flavors.
The limestone soils of England’s southern end have proven ideal for the production of sparkling wine. While it might seem too damp and cold for grape growing, recent warm summers and the onset of global warming signify great future growth for the British wine industry.
Representing the topmost expression of a Champagne house, a vintage Champagne is one made from the produce of a single, superior harvest year. Vintage Champagnes account for a mere 5% of total Champagne production and are produced about three times in a decade. Champagne is typically made as a blend of multiple years in order to preserve the house style; these will have non-vintage, or simply, NV on the label. The term, "vintage," as it applies to all wine, simply means a single harvest year.