Ex-Nathan Outlaw chef named Ridgeview winemaker

Rory Loftus, a 23-year-old former chef who worked under Nathan Outlaw, has been appointed assistant head winemaker at English sparkling estate Ridgeview.

Ridgeview’s new assistant head winemaker, Rory Loftus

Loftus is the youngest assistant head winemaker to work at the Sussex estate. In his spare time he plays rugby, shoots, makes beer at home and is a member of the National Federation of Young Farmers.

The appointment dovetails with the expansion of the sales and marketing team at Ridgeview as the English estate seeks to grow its output from 250,000 to 400,000 bottles a year by 2020 and increase its presence in key export markets.

Like fellow English fizz estates Nyetimber and Hattingley Valley, Ridgeview has been building up its stock of reserve wines in order move to non-vintage wines.

The estate switched its core Bloomsbury, Cavendish and Fitzrovia range to non-vintage this year, while its single estate blanc de blancs, blanc de noirs and rosé remain vintage wines that are more expensive, made in smaller quantities and aged for longer than the non-vintage offerings.

“We’re building up our reserve wine stocks so we can consciously tweak the wines when we need to. As the company evolves and comes of age, we want to become known for our house style.

“Bloomsbury is our flagship wine and is very fresh and fruit driven in style,” sales and marketing director Mardi Roberts told db.

“We want to be seen as a leading English sparkling wine brand and a brand that people can trust in terms of consistency of style,” she added.

The percentage of reserve wines used in the trio will vary each year but will increase as the estate’s stocks increase.

In order to increase production, Ridgeview will begin work on building a new winery next year.

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