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An English sparkling wine has been named the best in the world. RidgeView Merret Bloomsbury 2002 beat contenders from 55 countries to gain the World-Wide Trophy in the International Wine and Spirit Competition. The traditional blend of Champagne varieties, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, is produced on the family-run Ridgeview Estate in Ditchling, East Sussex.

In five years, RidgeView has won 44 medals and 12 trophies. Mike and Christine Roberts set up the company in 1994. Son Simon shares the winemaking, while his Australian-born wife Mardi does the sales and marketing.

In the past year, demand for English wine has increased by 30 per cent. The winery, set in a 16-acre estate in verdant countryside, 50 miles south of London, is open from Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 4.30 pm for sales and tastings.