The Péters family have a proud history in Le Mesnil-sûr-Oger – though some of their greatest vintages are just around the corner.
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
‘In wine, the long-term point of view is more important than the individual,’
says Rodolphe Péters, sixth-generation Champagne grower, and the third to run the family firm, Champagne Pierre Péters.
Each of his forebears has shared Rodolphe’s long-term thinking. None more so than Camille Péters, his great-grandfather. Camille’s decision to invest in a wine press and bottle wine under the family name in 1919 “changed the game”, says Rodolphe a century later.
The post-war era was challenging for Champagne growers. The region was dominated by powerful négociants (wine merchants) that bought grapes at scale. It was common for them to pressure growers to sell at a loss, or to renege outright on contracts. Growers were at their mercy, needing to sell their crop – quickly – to survive. But Camille was “a politician more than a grower,” says Rodolphe. And he clearly had a head for strategy. “If you can press the grapes yourself, it means you can sell the [grape] must, so you have more time,” says Rodolphe. “Or you can make and sell the wine, and you have even more time to negotiate.”