A sparkling wine maker has called for more rigorous rules to guarantee quality standards.

Michael Roberts, co-owner and wine maker at the Ridgeview Estate in Ditchling Common, has trademarked the word "merret" to describe his award-winning sparkling wine.

Now he is calling on other wine makers to sign up to his stringent methods in order to gain the right to share the name.

In 1662 Christopher Merret outlined the process of making traditional sparkling wines in a paper to the Royal Society in London, 30 years before the technique was adopted in Champagne.

This year a vintage rosé from the Ridgeview Estate was served at the state banquet for the President of the United States of America.

The wine was served at the Buckingham Palace dinner for Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.

The Ridgeview Estate was founded by Mr Roberts and his wife Christine in 1994.

Mr Roberts said: “The term ‘English sparkling wine’ is too cumbersome.

“Now that many producers are entering the market we need to make sure that standards do not slip.

“The name has to be more than a label. It has to stand for the best wine available as the term ‘Champagne’ does.

“But to earn the right to use the name, other wine producers have to be prepared to go down the same route that we have at Ridgeview.”

His call was backed by other wine growers across the county.

Sam Linton, wine maker and managing director at the Bolney Wine Estate, in Foxhole Lane, Bolney, Haywards Heath, said it is important for the area’s top producers to gain recognition.

She said: “This is something that we would support. It is important that Sussex is shown to be producing some of the best sparkling wines available.

“Now that our wine producers are winning many awards we must promote our quality on the international stage.”

Aly Englefield, wine maker and manager at Highdown Vineyard in Littlehampton Road, Ferring, near Worthing, said she also backed the call for a common standard for quality wine but said that all producers must back the system.

She said: “It is quite a complicated subject. I think that many buyers of wine are confused by the French system, for example.

“Whatever method is chosen needs to be quite simple so that non-experts can understand it.”

Do you back the calls by Mr Roberts? Tell us what you think.