- Name: Tamara Roberts
- Business: Ridgeview Wine Estate
- Role(s): CEO
- Business function: Wine Growers and Producers
- Sector: Wine Production
- Hub member for: 10 years
“Ridgeview is an English sparkling wine producer and we are the pioneers of the industry. We started in 1995 with just four people (we now have 26 people) and are probably in the top three of sparkling wine producers even though the market’s changed dramatically and there’s been a lot of investment and new entrants into the market in the UK. We are one of the top exporters of English sparkling wine and our wines have been served at many a Royal occasion such as the State Banquet for the Chinese Premier at Buckingham Palace and in Downing Street.
At our core, we are a family business and if it gets too big, it loses some of the attraction and possibly loses some of the craftsmanship in it as well. For us, retail is really important, we want to bring people here and use the space as an attraction, have events, enjoy a glass of wine, have a picnic and to feel part of what we are doing as well. I think that is really important, so we are looking at that side of the business as well.
It’s actually really nice to have your mind taken away from some of what you are doing and to have another problem to think about. People in my situation… that’s how we thrive… at heart we are problem solvers. When you are managing a business you are constantly solving problems and there’s nothing better than resolving something or thinking of a way around something that’s holding you back. When you can share that with people or they can share with you, well you are talking with like-minded people who are solution-focussed not problem-focussed and that’s a nice group of people to be amongst. They may not think about something there and then, but they might contact you later and say, ‘have you thought about this?’ so someone else is mulling over your problems or your sticking points. It’s confidential and you can say whatever you want, I’ve never felt that I couldn’t say something that I wanted to.”