Will English wine ever be taken seriously around the world?
How can traditional wine making be a 21st century force for good?
What is the key to grow from 'cottage industry' to major brand?
In this week's 5 Big Questions interview we talk to the multi award-winning CEO of Ridgeview Wine Estate, TAMARA ROBERTS.
- CEO - Ridgeview
- President - International Wine & Spirit Competition 2020
- Sussex Businessperson of the Year 2019
- Sussex Business Woman of the Year 2017
The Big 5 Questions:
- How do you measure the impact of what you do?
- How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?
- How do we build the workforce we need for that future?
- How do you use creativity to solve problems?
- How do you collaborate?
“The intention was always to do traditional method sparkling from the beginning, from day one, and also to elevate the position of English wine, from farmers’ markets where it was found mainly back in the nineties to the top end retailers and restaurants, which is where you’ll find quite a lot of English wines these days, particularly the sparkling wines.”
“When I talk about quality, it isn’t just quality of the end product, it’s of the entire process. All I’ve done is taken those values that were brought to the business by our parents and found ways in which to embed those into the business, and to free people or enable people to make decisions based on those values. People are empowered, provided they have a framework.”
“We’ve had to build confidence with lots and lots of stakeholders.”
“It switched quite dramatically in recent years from being very ‘cottage industry’, bumbling along, until actually now we’re being asked to sit on strategic boards for tourism because they’ve realised how important wine tourism is becoming for the region.”
“We are from a place. We grow our grapes here, so we’re very rooted where we are.”
“I don’t envy any business leader, it’s incredibly difficult at the moment to prioritise, there are so many competing demands and expectations. When the pandemic came along for me it was a really good time to think. I’m going to value that.”
"We are working on successions now. We have kids and lovely if they come in, but the gap between us and them is too big to bridge at this stage — and too stifling for them to be told, this is your destiny!”
“Your innovation seems to take a long time, sometimes.”
- Tamara Roberts on LinkedIn
- Ridgeview CEO Tamara Roberts wins Sussex Business Woman Of The Year
- Tamara Roberts profile on The English Wine Collection
- Decanter World Wine Awards
- Visit Ditchling
- Denbies wine estate
- Tinwood wine estate
- B Corp certification
- Viticulture BSc at Plumpton College
This episode was recorded in October 2022
Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible
Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts