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They say that great things come from great adversity and that is certainly true for Erick de Sousa who, from modest beginnings in the Côte des Blancs area of Champagne, is well on his way to building a global reputation for Champagne De Sousa.
It was Erick’s grandfather, Manuel a native of the Portuguese town of Porto, who first visited France to fight in the First Word War. Soon after the war he came back to Champagne to find work – there was plenty to rebuild in this corner of France that had been badly damaged during the fighting.
Manuel died at the age of just 29 leaving a widow and 4 sons. In due course the eldest son, Antoine, married a local girl, Zoémie Bonville, and learned the art of growing grapes. Again war intervened and Antoine spent 2 years as a prisoner in Germany. On returning home to the … [Full Article]

The Completer


By Gian Carlo Casparis
Hidden in the holiday region of Bündner Herrschaft, just an hour east of Zurich, we find the fifth generation of winemakers, Martin Donatsch, gazing at the acres of his vineyards and thinking of the ways to achieve the production of his high-quality iconic wines. As a winner of 2010 and 2011 world champion Pinot Noir producer, this young man has already made his name, and the name of the region, well known thanks to his Pinot Noir “Passion.”
These awards crown not just Martin’s skillfulness and knowledge, gathered while doing a vocational training as a winemaker all over the world, including Australia, South Africa, Bordeaux and Spain, but also a family tradition that is over 100 years old, as it is only with joined effort, that they have managed to create something so savory that every avid wine drinker and collector will enjoy.
Thomas Donatsch, … [Full Article]

Champagne La Maison Penet

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Alexandre Penet’s career so far hasn’t been that of a typical champagne maker, but that doesn’t bother Alexandre too much because he doesn’t want to make typical champagnes.  He appears to have succeeded, judging from the comments that have appeared in the press such as “An artist at work.” “One of our best discoveries in La Montagne de Reims for 25 years”
Alexandre grew up in the village of Verzy, a Grand Cru village in the part of Champagne known as the La Montagne de Reims, where he learned about champagne from his grandfather and father, but after qualifying as an engineer Alexandre left Champagne to work overseas in Brazil and in Africa for a number of years in industries that have nothing to do with wine-making. It was during this time he also gained an MBA from the University of Chicago Business School.
By the time he returned to … [Full Article]