Champagne Potel Prieux
A direct descendant of the family of winemakers that can be traced from father to son from Charles Potel, who was born in Venteuil in 1634 during the reign of Louis XIV and a contemporary of Dom Perignon, François Potel has been at the head of the family domain since 1997 and cultivates 3 hectares of vines.
Champagne Potel Prieux is a family owned house in Venteuil, which is close to Epernay, the capital of Champagne, Hautvillers the birthplace of Champagne, and Reims sacred city of the Kings of France and an hour and a half from Paris. Francois is a craftsmen motivated by his passion, he produces Champagnes of quality made with the highest respect for tradition and which are much appreciated, winning many accolades around the globe.
The surface of the domain is on a human scale (3 hectares) which allows , on the eve of the harvest to very precisely control from parcel to parcel the maturity and the health status of the grapes and to then decide the order of picking.
The harvest usually starts around the 15 September and lasts for ten days. They use 10 pickers to harvest the grapes by hand. The duration of the harvest and the small capacity of the press (2000 kg), gives the advantage of achieving a juice of very high quality.
In tribute to Jean GABIN who said "to make a good movie you need three things: a good story, a good story and a good story", Francois would say to make a good Champagne you need 3 things: good grapes, good grapes and good grapes.
Owners: Francois Potel
Winemaker: Francois Potel
Vines: 3 Hectares.
Age of Vines: Average age 35 years, Range 10 - 75 years
Ageing on the lees: 3 years NV, 4-5 years Vintages
Annual Production: 5,000 6 pack cases
The winery is built around the courtyard of the family home, housing the press, the Vats, including a Solera which dates back to 1986 (a Vat of reserve wines that supplies 30% of its content to the assemblage every year and is replenished with the current harvest wine), the labelling and packaging area and the cellars. The operation is compact but beautifully organised and Francois can run the whole thing practically single handedly. His attention to detail comes through in his wines.
The Soler aallows Francois to blend in the complexity that these aged wines can bring, giving him a depth of palette and aromas which give his consistent style and quality. He has just begun to Millesime a small run of 1600 bottles from a parcel of Chardonnay, it has been resting since 2012, just about to test and see how it has developed so far. Watch this space!