Sparkling Success

Contrary to lore, it wasn't a lucky friar named Dom Pérignon who discovered the secret of sparkling wine. Englishman Christopher Merret in 1662 found that by adding sugar to the Champagne region's still wines he could make them effervescent and stronger. Three decades later the French took his trick and created an industry that last year shipped 253 million bottles of bubbly at top prices to a grateful world.

But what goes around comes around, and today RidgeView Estate — located on 12 hectares outside this postcard-pretty village just north of the Sussex Downs — is one of several wineries...

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