Tamara Roberts – Ridgeview Wine Estate

Name: Tamara Roberts

Occupation: CEO Ridgeview Wine Estate

Please can you share a whistle-stop tour of your career?

I started with a law degree and then qualified as a chartered accountant in a previous life which has given me strong commercial, financial and operational skills and I had experience from working in various sectors before the opportunity arose to join Ridgeview, my family’s pioneering English Sparkling Wine business in 2004. I started as General Manager and FD and then became CEO in 2014.

Describe your job in three words:

Fulfilling, varied and challenging

What has been your philosophy that has seen the successful development of your career?

Listen, learn and never give up

Words of encouragement for women who aspire to reach a senior position in hospitality?

Not all employers are the same – find your tribe and you will do just fine.

Favourite aspect of the job?

Making sustainable, quality English sparkling wines.

What excites you most about your role?

Working with my team to achieve our personal and company goals every year.

The toughest aspect of your job?

The breadth of what we do can be challenging – agriculture, manufacturing, selling, hospitality and tourism.

Is there a moment in your career that stands out above the rest?

Being awarded Sussex Business Person of the year in 2018 was a special moment for me.

What are you most proud of?

Ridgeview winning the IWSC International Winemaker of the year in 2018, the first time this award has been won by an English wine producer.

What has been your biggest challenge?

My dad passing away in 2014 and the impact that had been on Ridgeview as a family run business and his status within it (and the industry). It was also a huge personal loss for me.

Have there been any obstacles in the way of your professional development?

No, I have been very well supported by my whole family and the companies I have worked for.

Who have been your mentors?

My first mentor was my Dad and he set a very high standard! I have of course had others since then, both formally and informally, and I have been very lucky to have them share their experiences and wisdom with me.

Who has inspired Tamara Roberts along the way?

Everyone who has gone out of their way to support Ridgeview and our family but if I had to name names I would say the Laithwaite’s family who have been firm friends and supporters since we started working with them in the late 90’s.

What advice would you offer for women looking to embark on a similar career?

There are so many routes into our industry and although opportunities may be limited currently, with the anticipated growth this will quickly change over the next few years.

Where are your favourite places to eat and drink?

When we do get out, my husband and I really enjoy the beer and atmosphere at the Unbarred brewery taproom and we like to try a variety of the independent restaurants in Brighton and Hove – it’s a really exciting time for dining out in Brighton right now.

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