The English Sparkling Wine That’s Giving Champagne a Run for Its Money

“The Chardonnay from this vineyard produces something quite amazing… it’s won a lot of awards and international trophies as well. So we know there’s something quite particular about this patch here that we’re standing on.”

In the Ridgeview vineyards of East Sussex in England, a bizarre and magical thing has been happening: a bunch of Brits have been making some of the best sparkling wine in the world. Starting in 1995, the Roberts family took a risk and began producing sparkling Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, and soon discovered that England’s reputation for bad wine may have sprung more from a lack of attempt than anything to do with the land itself. After all, Ridgeview is located less than 100 miles from France–and could such a small distance really make all that much of a difference?

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A bottle of Ridgeview sparkling wine only goes for about $36, whereas a bottle of Moët & Chandon might run you $43-$55 in the US, depending on where you’re buying from. So if you’re ever curious to see what’s what, why not arrange a little tasting party of your own?