It is thought that the Romans first introduced vines to England, however due to a combination of poor climate and the strong trading links with France and Italy (leading to a ready supply of wine), wine-making never really took off. Fast forward a few centuries and wine making is now a burgeoning industry because of improved wine making techniques and climate change. Parts of Southern England have similar characteristics in the soil as Champagne, enabling good quality Chardonnay to be cultivated on chalky soils just like its French equivalent. Today English producers grow a range of different grapes from the traditional Champagne varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to lesser known grapes such as Reichensteiner and Scheurebe.
“At Corney & Barrow we are always on the lookout for star quality, producers whose wines not only set the benchmark for their country or region, but also have that special something that marks them out. I was so pleased to find this in Breaky Bottom and Ambriel, whose wines are fine and distinctive in their own unique way."
Rebecca Palmer, Associate Buyer at Corney & Barrow
Ambriel Rose Extra Dry Traditional Method 2013
Ambriel Blanc de Blancs Brut Traditional Method 2010
Breaky Bottom Cuvee Koizumi Yakumo Brut Traditional Method 2010
Breaky Bottom Cuvee Reynolds Stone Brut Traditional Method 2010
Ambriel English Reserve Single Vineyard Demi-Sec Traditional Method 2010
Breaky Bottom Cuvee Gerard Hoffnung Brut Traditional Method 2009 - New label
Ambriel Classic Cuvee Brut Traditional Method NV
Ambriel was founded in 2006 by couple Wendy and Charles Outhwaite, self-professed wine lovers with the dream of producing their own sparkling wine.
Alongside careers in law and finance, they embarked on a search for their ‘perfect’ vineyard. It took them 5 years to find it, a sunny, southfacing site overlooking the sweeping South Downs in Nutbourne, a small village in West Sussex. Its rare, green sand soil is prized by English viticulturists for its heat-retaining, light-reflective and free-draining qualities, well-suited to the vagaries of the English climate.
Breaky Bottom is a tiny 6 acre wine estate in the South Downs in East Sussex, producing small quantities of high quality traditional method sparkling wines.
Founder Peter Hall, now in his 70s, discovered Breaky Bottom in the early 1970s and saw in its micro-climate and chalk-rich soils – similar to Champagne and the Loire valley – the potential to produce high quality wines. While he initially produced still wines (highly acclaimed) from hybrid varieties including Seyval Blanc, over time he turned to sparkling wines and also to the Champagne varieties.