The grape harvest this year has been
one of the finest I have known. Spring was cool and budburst
late but when the weather finally warmed up it stayed that
way and the vines caught up with the calendar. Late June
and early July were hot and dry and we had a perfect fruit-set.
The heat-wave continued and a regular drought set in, the
grass browned off while the vines remained livid green.
We picked over 12 days, finishing on
19th October, and pressed out three large stainless steel
vats, all destined for sparkling. Harvest was a week earlier
than average with good ripeness because of the fine summer.
The warm damp weather in September and early October provided
ideal conditions for moulds and rot to spread. Our early
start gave us a crop of near-perfect clean grapes but some
English vineyards suffered severely and lost half of their
young Chardonnay planted 5 years ago cropped at six tons
to the acre (photo left, by my son Tom’s wife, Stephanie).
They will become part of the 2006 cuvée and, as the
2004 plantation of Chardonnay and Pinot establishes, these
Champagne varieties will have an increasing influence on
the Breaky Bottom house style, without I believe, loosing
the central contribution made so successfully by the Seyval
Blanc since the first fizz vintage in 1994.
also like Stephanie’s picture right, the track leading
to the flint barn winery on the right. For a brief few days
this autumn it became a busy thoroughfare delivering 22
tons of grapes to the press – it’s also nice
to be reminded of the sunshine….
All the wines are available from the
vineyard - by appointment, 01273 476 427 – and by
They are also stocked at these retail