I always promise myself I will write more Winery Notes to keep you better informed but still I
allow time to slip by……………………… In favour of my ‘laid-back’ approach I minimise the daily
bombardment of our email Inbox. So, to be brief:
1. Radio 4 is broadcasting a piece on English sparkling wine – 12.30 on Sunday 27 July,
repeated on Monday 28 at 4.00 pm. Andrew Jefford visited several vineyards (including Breaky Bottom)
and it should make for an interesting programme. A newcomer to the trade is the Wiston Estate Winery
in West Sussex set up by Dermot Sugrue. He has just installed an amazing traditional 4 ton Coquard
press from Champagne which I hope we will hear about.
2. We picked some wonderful blackcurrants last weekend and the Crème de Cassis is in the making,
looking and smelling delicious. The harvest was made special this year because Hattie Ellis, the
freelance food writer, has produced what I am sure will be a fine article for the Saturday Telegraph
Supplement on 16 August. The photographs are by David Crookes and from what I have seen so far they
are fabulous. Eight of the staff from the famous Terre a Terre restaurant in Brighton were taking
a ‘day out’ and joined the pickers. Their labours were rewarded with dazzling camera-ready food –
including sweet shoulder of Breaky Bottom lamb with torpedo shallots braised in Muller Thurgau,
finger-licking-good blackcurrant crumble and a glass or three of Breaky Bottom Kir Royal.
3. I have just had confirmation that the British Museum has chosen the 2004 Sparkling
Cuvée Donna Elvira for their restaurant wine list – that’s the way to please a winemaker.
4. With the decline of some Downland birds such as the Skylark and Lapwing I am delighted to say,
after some very lean years, Breaky Bottom has at least four pairs of Song Thrushes this summer.
Each has its own voice and as I meet them every morning I am able, over the weeks, to recognise
their different songs. I am convinced that they are all trying to out-Pavarotti each other.