Ridgeview CEO Tamara Roberts joined the family business as general manager in 2004, taking her current position ten years later in 2014. She has overseen the growth of production in that time from 25k bottles per annum to 400k bottles, as well as the conception and construction of a brand new winery and cellar, which will allow production to double from 2020.
She is the first English wine producer to take the position of IWSC president – a testament to the rising global status of the English wine industry.
What does it mean to you to be IWSC President?
I was slightly taken aback when I was asked. I’m hugely honoured – as a producer, for Ridgeview, for the family – but also for the bigger picture of English wine.
Being able to stand up as an English wine producer at such a prestigious event is a huge honour, and it’s great to be a woman standing up with a new category of wine, and being there for all the other women who work tirelessly in the industry and perhaps don’t get the recognition that I’ve had the advantage to get this year.
What does IWSC represent in the industry?
IWSC is working tirelessly in a very competitive market, and what sets them apart is their rigorous focus on quality wines and on the judging process.
You know when you enter your wines that they are being judged fairly, and you can benchmark your results against some of the biggest names in wine across the world, which is so important.
IWSC also does a really excellent job of promoting their winners afterwards, which is a key thing for anyone entering to know that they’ve got that support if they do win something big.
What do you hope to bring to the role?
It’s certainly going to come from a female perspective. I’m going to be talking about women in the industry, and I’m also going to be talking about English wine – the opportunities, the threats, the future, and where I feel our industry is going to move to – and perhaps bring in some of the global issues surrounding the world of wine in terms of sustainability and climate change, which is going to be so high on the agenda.