The name is both local (the word Bottom is common Sussex vernacular denoting a dry chalk valley) and historical (Breaky Bottom was mentioned in the Domesday book), owner Peter Hall discovered Breaky Bottom as a run-down farm in the early 1970s. At this point there were no vines planted at all, however Peter saw in its climate and chalk-rich soils – similar to Champagne and the Loire valley – the potential to produce high quality wines.
At this time, there was an increasing trend for clean, fresh, cool-climate wines, and plant nurseries were developing early-ripening grape varieties to produce these styles. As a result, Peter planted Seyval Blanc and small amounts of other hybrid grapes. While he originally produced still wines, he turned increasingly to sparkling wines over time. At the turn of the century, he also took the decision to plant the champagne varieties, particularly Chardonnay (adapted to Breaky Bottom’s pure chalk soils), with smaller amounts of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Today, the estate produces traditional method sparkling wines of exceptional quality and character, thanks to its unique terroir, kid-glove vineyard husbandry and careful winemaking with extended ageing on the lees and cork, a crucial part of the process. All wines made are of a single vintage, producing just two cuvées a year, each of which is dedicated to someone of special importance to Peter.