Summer 2000  

Wine Cellar



People who have visited Breaky Bottom will know that I make wine in a fine early Nineteenth Century Sussex Flint Barn. It is tall enough to house large stainless steel wine tanks and remains cool in all but the hottest of Summers. The bulk of my bottled stock is stored here. However, the ideal cellarage would be purpose built and give a constant temperature of 10 to 12 degrees Centigrade. I have often daydreamed of digging into the solid chalk hill behind the Barn to create an underground cellar. If it is good enough for the Champenois it should be good enough for Breaky Bottom. What I am loathe to do is to spoil the loftiness of the barn by putting in a false ceiling and masking all the fine timbers in the roof, although in today's business world this would be considered the most cost efficient solution. I am even considering the possibility of thatching the barn, and maybe receiving a grant for such a project. I might need to convince any sponsor that the barn was at one time thatched, so some further research is necessary. It would be wonderful to think that such a traditional method of roofing could have such a modern and efficient application.

I have not decided how to proceed, but since I have had these thoughts for twenty years it may be time for me to broaden the debate and welcome any ideas that you may have on this subject. I offer a case of Fizz for the best idea!