June 2003  

Winery Notes




Welcome to the Breaky Bottom Winery Notes. These early June days seem pleasant enough, with reasonable temperatures and a sweet softness in the air after some light rain. The world is full of beautiful places but I am not to be seduced away from these long summer evenings and the song of the blackbird in my garden. The vines are looking good and growing on well. They always make a tentative start in the spring and then suddenly begin to grow an inch a day. For the winemaker this is a wonderful time of the year.

The terrible floods of October 2000 have not quite been confined to history. After our 25 months in the caravan it is truly wonderful to be back in the house but there is still work to be done, both inside and in the garden. I hope that by the autumn we may be getting back into shape. Legal battles are still to be fought in order to receive compensation for the considerable losses that we have suffered.

Last year the Breaky Bottom blackcurrants produced their first crop and the Cassis we made from them has almost sold out. I planted another 50 blackcurrants this spring to add to the harvest in years to come, but I feel we will need even more. The success of Breaky Bottom sparkling wine has been evident from the sale of the first 1994 vintage and it continues to attract new customers. You will know that last year I planted 300 Chardonnay that are showing well at the beginning of their second year and will fruit in 2004. This week I have been pulling up some 30-year-old vines and next April I intend to replace these with 1000 Chardonnay and 1000 Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines from Champagne. Eventually these grapes will be blended with the Seyval Blanc and should bring new notes and nuances to compliment the clean freshness of the Breaky Bottom fizz.

It has been a long time since my last price increase. I had intended one around the time we flooded but I became distracted by other events. The chancellor has added to his little slice of Customs & Excise duty from time to time. It may interest you to know that the current rate is 1.19 for a bottle of still wine and 1.65 for the same volume of sparkling wine and Champagne. I attach a new price list that will come into effect on the 1st July this year.

The mail order sales have increased steadily and I have taken steps to resolve the problem of breakages in transit. I have invested in newly designed packaging and all mail orders will now be sent out with an inner and an outer box. It should ensure that your wine arrives safely and intact. I have also changed delivery companies. FastWay cost a little more but I believe the goods will be handled more carefully.

I often get enquiries about the various wines available from people who have never tasted Breaky Bottom. The easiest introduction is to send them a mixed case. I am offering a case of 12 bottles, comprising nine different wines from the list. They are at the current discounted case rate, plus a further 4.00 discount, totalling 79.00 + P & P.

1 x Sparkling Brut 1999, Cuvée Rémy Alexandre
2 x Seyval Blanc 2001 2 x Seyval Blanc 2001 Oaked Fumé
2 x Seyval Blanc 1996 1 x Seyval Blanc 1995
1 x Muller Thurgau 1996 1 x Seyval/Muller 1997
1 x Late Harvest 1999 (37.5 cl) 1 x Cassis (37.5 cl)

If you are able to visit the vineyard you would be very welcome. It is better to 'phone first.

Peter Hall
June 2003