“I didn’t invent the name! The South Downs are full of bottoms - dry chalk valleys. Breaky Bottom has been here since Domesday.”
PETER HALL | WINEMAKER
I have always produced wine from grapes grown only in this valley. I originally planted the vineyard with Seyval Blanc and Muller-Thurgau, and established Breaky Bottom’s reputation making still white wines. The 1990 vintage Seyval Blanc won a Gold Medal in the 1993 International Wine Challenge.
For years I felt the Seyval Blanc would make great fizz. It had such a clean fresh taste and retained good acidity even when fully ripe. I produced my first sparkling brut made with 100% Seyval Blanc in 1995, released in 2000 as ‘Millennium Cuvée Maman Mercier’, dedicated to my mother. I have since focused purely on sparkling wines, adding the three Champagne varieties in 2002 and 2004.
Following my first sparkling vintage I have dedicated each cuvée to honour friends and family that have been important in my life. Reynolds Stone, for example, the famous wood engraver and designer of the original Breaky Bottom label is celebrated in the 2010 Chardonnay/Pinot. Nobel Prize winner Sir Harry Kroto and cartoonist Gerard Hoffnung are just two of the friends I have commemorated in this way.