The South Downs of Sussex are found on the same geological formation (limestone on top of a sandstone bed) that continues through the east of France down to Champagne. It is no surprise therefore that the soils at The Ridgeview Estate are conducive to the production of grapes needed for premium quality sparkling wine. Just seven miles from the sea the winters here are mild too with the hills creating a rain shadow to keep the vineyards comparatively dry and sheltered.
Founded in 1994 by the late and sadly missed Mike Roberts with his wife Christine, the estate produces fine bubbly from the three Champagne grapes, chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, according to the méthode traditionnelle of secondary fermentation in bottle, and a period of maturation before disgorging. The Merret cuvées are named in honour of Christopher Merret, a 17th century doctor, scientist and glassmaker who in 1662 - over thirty years before Dom Pérignon - was the first to set down on paper the process of dosing wine with sugar provoke a secondary fermentation.