The Proust Q&A: Tamara Roberts

Mother of two Tamara Roberts is the chief executive of English sparkling wine estate Ridgeview in Sussex. Responsible for the day to day running of the estate, last year she championed a redesign of the brand to mark its 20th anniversary. This August she appointed Bibendum PLB as the brand’s new distributor. Roberts aims to double production at Ridgeview by 2020. Earlier this year Ridgeview was named as one of Downing Street’s official wines. The estate’s wines have also been served by the Queen at state banquets at Buckingham Palace and for the official Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Tamara Roberts, CEO of Ridgeview

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A sunny day in our garden entertaining family and friends with good food and wine, listening to an eclectic selection of music courtesy of my husband. This day usually ends way past the sun going down.

What is your greatest fear?

Same as any parent – my children being harmed in any way, not that I’m an over-protective mum.

Which living person do you most admire?

There are many people I admire but Barbara Laithwaite is someone who I have a significant amount of respect and admiration for.

Not only is she a great role model as a successful businesswoman who is capable of making tough decisions when needed, but she has also been extremely kind, generous and supportive of both Ridgeview and I.

What is your greatest extravagance?

My husband says wine – he’s probably right.

What is your current state of mind?

Busy – I have lots of ideas for Ridgeview and other, complimentary business development areas.

What is the quality you most like in a man?

Resourcefulness.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My husband, he’s supported me through everything in the last 18 years and is also my best friend.

When and where were you happiest?

Sailing. Completing the fastnet race in 1981 and competing in numerous Cowes Week regattas with my brother and Dad.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I’d love to be a musician as I love music and the ability to create music that brings pleasure to an audience must be an amazing feeling.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Learning to say no occasionally.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I feel the best is yet to come, it’s all work in progress at the moment.

Where would you most like to live?

Having recently moved into our home next door to the vineyard, I can’t think of anywhere more perfect – a beautiful location and a one-minute commute!

What is your most treasured possession?

If a dog is a possession, then my oldest border terrier, Talby, is definitely top spot.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Determination.

Who are your favorite writers?

James Lee Burke, Douglas Coupland and James Ellroy take up the most space on our bookshelves.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Sherlock Holmes, seriously intelligent but also flawed.

What is it that you most dislike?

People who lack empathy.

What is your greatest regret?

Not having the time to get back into sailing but hopefully there will be opportunities again in the future.

What is your motto?

Treat others as you would be expected to be treated yourself.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what three wines would you serve them? 

John Peel, Mo Mowlam and Victoria Wood starting with Ridgeview Grosvenor 2006, our most awarded wine.

I’d follow this with the best Chablis from Domaine Raveneau, which I’ve had the pleasure of tasting recently with Maxime Raveneau who completed a harvest with us at Ridgeview.  Finally, I’d serve a Rhône wine, my favourite region, perhaps a  Perrin Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Sinards.

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