Grower stories

Peter Hall of Breaky Bottom: England’s Sparkling Originator

Introducing two characterful wines that highlight the history and future of English fizz from one of the characters and true greats of the English wine scene.

Peter Hall Breaky Bottom
Peter Hall Breaky Bottom

Peter Hall of Breaky Bottom is one of England’s most loved and respected producers. Breaky Bottom, planted in 1974 in an isolated fold of the Sussex Downs, is not only one of the UK’s most beautiful properties, but also one of the most historic. Peter’s still wines were amongst the first English wines that The Wine Society purchased in 1989 made exclusively from the once popular but now rarely seen seyval blanc grape. Now in his 80s, Peter is exclusively making traditional method sparkling wine but he continues to champion the seyval blanc grape. This hybrid variety has struggled against the growth in plantings of the more famed Champagne varieties of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.

Whilst seyval blanc is still held in high regard by Peter, he also produces outstanding and quintessentially English sparkling wines using the more traditional Champagne varieties. To celebrate our long connection with Peter and both sides of the now sparkling Breaky Bottom coin, we’re delighted to introduce to members his Cuvée Grace Nichols Seyval Blanc 2017 and his John Agard 2017 Classic Cuvée.

Peter’s love of wine is matched only by his love of great music and poetry. Along with ensuring all his wines spend extended time on the yeast lees before release, he also names each of his cuvées after a close friend or family member that’ve helped shape his life and time at Breaky Bottom. Grace Nichols and her husband John Agard emigrated to England from Guyana in 1977. Both poets, John was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry in 2012, with Grace receiving the same award in 2021, the last before the Queen’s death in 2022. They live not far from Peter in Lewes and have been close friends for many years.

These two outstanding sparkling wines are the perfect celebration of their talent and friendship as well as the eternal connection between poetry and wine.

>>Discover Peter Hall’s Cuvée Grace Nichols Seyval Blanc 2017 & John Agard 2017 Classic Cuvée

>>Find out more about the history of English wine

>>Browse all English wine

Matthew Horsley

Society Buyer

Matthew Horsley

Matthew joined the Buying Department, from our Tastings and Events team  in December 2017 and took over England, Greece and Hungary in 2020 and now has responsibility for South Africa.

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