Pierre Péters

Attending producer: Rodolphe Péters

Rodolphe Péters

Rodolphe Péters

The Péters family has had roots in Champagne since 1840, when Gaspard Péters, who was originally from Luxembourg, married into the Doué family, winegrowers in Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Both Gaspard Péters and his son, Louis Joseph Péters, tended vines and sold grapes to the négoce, but it was Louis Joseph’s son, Camille, who began to produce estate-bottled champagnes in 1919. Camille Péters purchased a press that is still in use by the house today, and beginning in 1929 he became a full-time récoltant-manipulant. His son Pierre took over the estate in 1947, with the 1944 being the first vintage sold under the name Pierre Péters. In 1967, Pierre’s son François took the helm, expanding the domaine’s vineyards and increasing export sales, most notably in the United States and Scandinavia, and as of 2008 he has handed the estate to his son Rodolphe.  The estate’s vineyards cover 18 hectares, about 17 of which are used for the estate's own production, with the remaining grapes being sold to the négoce. The majority of the estate's holdings (90 percent) are in the grand cru villages of Le Mesnil-sur-Oger, Oger, Avize and Cramant, and of Peters’s 63 parcels of vines, 45 are in Le Mesnil. Viticulture is environmentally conscious without being dogmatic, eschewing the use of insecticides and focusing on cover crops in the right parcels to manage yields. At the same time, the goal is to keep yields reasonable but not overly low. “We are not partisans at all of low yields,” says Rodolphe Péters. “If you have too much concentration, you lose the elegance and finesse that is the signature of blanc de blancs champagne.”  Péters points to the pressing of the grapes as one of the key factors in achieving quality, and while he still has the 100-year old vertical press purchased by his great-grandfather, he also uses a modern pneumatic press that provides a slow, gentle pressing. Special attention is paid to the settling of the must, as Péters believes that this is directly tied to the quality of the mousse, and all of the wines are fermented in stainless steel: “It retains the original quality of the fruit,” says Péters, “and it results in a more regular and more consistent fermentation.” However, he doesn’t like to ferment at temperatures that are too low, as this produces exotic aromas that he says are “farther from the terroir.”

Information courtesy of Peter Liem's ChampagneGuide.net ©