From trenches of World War 1 to the Premier Cru terroir of the village of Écueil, Champagne Pointillart-Leroy is composed of several life stories. Founded more than one century ago by the pioneers of our family, the legend continues to be written from generation to generation. Emile Leroy’s descendants, following in their elders’ footsteps, are committed to prove that great stories are never written alone.
A life full of fights
The history of Champagne Pointillart-Leroy began at the end of the 19th century. In 1894, the Champagne region is hardly affected by phylloxera. For about 10 years, the whole Champagne vineyard was devastated. Emile Leroy, his wife Pulchérie Griffon and their two sons Louis and Henri, were also affected by this disaster.
The family decided to struggle and strived for containing the disease that destroyed their vines and those of their neighbours. In 1904, the couple sent its two sons to the famous viticulture school of Beaune to learn the grafting methods. The objective is to contribute to the rebuilding of the Champagne vineyard by grafting on American root-stocks.
At that time, the eldest son was going out for several years with Clémence Brochet, a girl from the village of Écueil. As their parents, the courting couple wanted to settle and start their family. In 1910, Louis and Clémence decided to move into their new house, situated at 4 rue de Villers-aux-Nœuds. As from this date, next generations have never left this address that became the historical head office of the House. In 1912 and 1913, the births of André and Jean, their two children, filled the couple with joy.
At the same time, André Royer, a close cousin of louis, studied medicine in paris. this science lover met a man who will leave his mark on the family history. this man was Aloïs Felten, a german from Düsseldorf who studied medicine too. the one who was a simple classmate, at that time, will become a valued ally thirty years later.
World war 1 broke out in 1914. the two sons leroy were called on to fight for france whereas Aloïs Felten joined the german flag. The war was just beginning to start when louis was killed in le chemin des dames, that was the scene of the most deadly fights of world war 1. As most widows, clémence stayed alone to raise her children. However, she could count on her father and her father-in-law emile, to maintain the work in the agricultural land and the vineyard. The war ended four years later.
As the years went passing by, Clémence saw her two sons grow up and blossom in the village. This is especially the case for André, the eldest son. When he was 27 years old, the young man met his wife, Odette. In his turn, he started his family with the birth of his first daughter, Nicole Leroy in 1939.
Friendship and adversity
André Leroy and his wife lived a peaceful life in the village of Écueil. The couple worked in the vines with passion. In 1939, the beginning of World War 2 turned this harmony upside down.
Once again, men had to leave their land and go to fight. André was sent to the front with his French comrades. Aloïs Felten, the Leroy family’s friend was too old to fight. He was appointed as a military doctor, in the rear of the front. In 1940, André was injured during a battle and then, caught by the Germans at the hospital of Nantes and was sent to Bunzlau, in Lower Silesia, in a labour camp.
In the hardest times of History, hope always ends up rising. Aloïs was appointed in the same camp as a medical officer. From that time, the one who had been greeted as a Leroy family’s member will make his best efforts to help André to escape. Aloïs pretended to diagnose a viral disease to his friend and sent him to Pau, a town that was in free zone, with a panel indicating “yellow fever”. André Leroy was free.
In 1942, he came back to his native village. At the end of this dark period, the couple was stronger and set up an equal to equal relationship between André and his wife. The family became bigger in 1945 with Jacqueline’s birth. Three years later, Brigitte was born. After this unusual experience, André and Aloïs stayed very close friends for life. They kept this friendship alive by transmitting values of respect and mutual aid to the next generations.
A strong civic commitment
After the war, André and Odette decided to participate in the France’s rebuilding by involving themselves in their village. The couple was at once landowner and winegrower and decided to give new impetus to the village and offered a part of its lands. It could not be any other way for André who wanted to contribute to his village’s future and in a wider way, to his country’s future. In 1947, the land which was an asparagus field one year before, became the great wine-making Cooperative of Écueil.
The family, as a donor, agreed with the project and had the status of grower and member of the cooperative. It brought the whole of its vineyard, so that’s 1.50 hectare. In 1950, André and Odette were proud to market their first bottles under the name Leroy-Régnier. The wine farm took its marks little by little and sold about 5,000 bottles per year. André and his wife's commitment started to bear fruit.
But the family was affected by fate once again and Odette died from illness in 1957. After this tragedy, the family balance was upset. The eldest daughter, who was 18 years old at that time, left school to help her father in the farm. Jacqueline, who will go to the housekeeping school a few years later, and Brigitte were brought up by Clémence, their grandmother.
Faced with the pain, André fully dedicated his time to create his Champagne. In 1959, to go ahead and forget the tragic events he suffered, he renamed the Champagne trademark as André Leroy.
A new union
From 1960 to 1975, the Champagne protected designation area allowed André to keep on growing the vineyard by planting new root-stocks in the agricultural lands. Jacqueline decided to assist her father for the daily tasks of the wine farm. With this alliance, André succeeded in extending his farm. Almost 30 years after the first plantings, he owned 3 hectares of vines and marketed about 18,000 bottles in France and abroad.
The years passed and Jean-Louis Pointillart, a local young man came back in the village. Born in 1948, he is the son of Jean Pointillart and Jeanne Perseval. The young man comes from a family of 8 children (Marie-France, Philippe, Jean-Louis, Elisabeth, Chantal, Noël, Marie-Odile and Francis). Traditionally, the eldest son should take over the family wine farm. While Philippe was in charge of the estate management, Jean-Louis decided to move in Annecy after his studies to work as a fitter in a big aircraft manufacturer company.
A family work
In 1976, both families attended Jacqueline and Jean-Louis’s wedding. This new alliance will allow the young man to join the Leroy family’s farm and to bring in it 50 ares from the Pointillart family. The couple owned in total 3.50 hectares of vines.
Jacqueline who taught French and History and Geography at the private school Sainte-Chrétienne in Fismes, decided to change her professional career after her marriage and to fully dedicate herself to the vine work, with her husband. In the year 1976, the couple definitively sealed its history by renaming the trademark with their two names: “Champagne Pointillart-Leroy”. Both spouses walked together hand-in-hand and gave birth to their eldest son, Bruno, in 1980 and to their youngest daughter, Juliette, in 1985. They were convinced that their children will keep on writing the family history.
Jacqueline and Jean-Louis have always wanted to transmit the vine passion to their two children. The couple prepared all the formalities for the eldest son to join the family farm in the future. But the next generation was not ready yet and both children took different ways.
Bruno left the house at the beginning of 2000s and became a computer engineer. Juliette, as for her, passed her baccalaureate and studied private and criminal law at the Reims University. This university experience got her interested in becoming police superintendent. Unfortunately, she did not meet the weight and height minimum criteria that stopped her from having this career. Juliette is a woman and this is one of the shameful reasons why she could not make her dream come true. For all that, she did not admit defeat and decided to start over by giving a new direction to her life.
Juliette changed of direction in 2009 and began a professional certificate of Agricultural Farm Manager at the very famous wine school of Avize. This programme is initially made in two years but she decided to go with giant strides and to complete it in one single year. Once she obtained the diploma, the young woman joined her father in the family farm.
First of all, she worked as Jean-Louis’s wise assistant. Her father learned her the job in the field, to be able, one day, to take over the estate. This duo has worked in perfect harmony for few years. In 2012, Jean-Louis gave his daughter the opportunity to take the helm of the House. Juliette accepted the challenge without any hesitation. It was a beautiful reward for her parents. Jacqueline and Jean-Louis know it well: great stories are never written alone.
Since the end of the 19th century, Champagne Pointillart-Leroy wrote its history on the hillsides of La Montagne de Reims. Ideally situated in Écueil, Chamery and Vrigny, the family’s vineyard benefits from the very coveted “Premier Cru” designation.
Wine-growing methods have progressed a big deal since the establishment of the family farm. However, the philosophy of work has still remained the same as Juliette’s grandfather wanted: join strengths to go to the same direction. Even as the time of André Leroy, two actors shared the efforts. The man always worked with his most faithful partner: the horse. Most steps in the vines were made with and thanks to this beast of burden.
Progress gradually reached the family farm with the arrival of the first tractor in 1964. This technological progress allowed Jacqueline and Jean-Louis to get bigger and bigger yields. This method finally disappeared over the years and an integrated wine-growing whose aim is to work in the respect of the environment and of the grape qualities appeared.
Sharing and mutual aid
Sharing and mutual aid have always been key values for Champagne Pointillart-Leroy. To maintain this spirit of cooperation, Juliette decided to form a partnership with the young winegrowers of Écueil and to share a simple principle that consists in putting the resources of each one at the service of the winegrowers’ community. This pooling bears fruit today and the group already owns a tank to carry the wines from the press to the farms, a crusher used to recycle the “woods” during the pruning step and a crane used for works in the vines.
All these investments were thought out by and for young winegrowers. This sharing of resources guarantees more freedom in the material use but above all, it allows to maintain the spirit of mutual aid and solidarity that Juliette appreciates. To take one step further in its project, this young team wished to organise meetings “at the end of the plots”.
In relation to a specialised organisation, Juliette attends meetings on the health condition of several plots every week. This technical information exchange allows the young winegrowers to synchronize and optimize the treatments necessary for the vines to grow well. Before everything, this way of proceeding allows to respect better the environment by reducing input products for example.
Juliette chose to make a sustainable growing. Grass cover-cropping, use of biodegradable hooks, analysis of the soils to detect needs of soil enrichment product and treatment limitation allow to preserve the soils’ quality. By taking care of its terroir, Champagne Pointillart-Leroy ensures to perpetuate the vitality of its vines. Juliette carries on with success the story that André Leroy started 70 years ago.
The terroir of écueil
Champagne Pointillart-Leroy’s vineyard covers three villages of La Montagne de Reims: Écueil, Chamery and Vrigny. The family cultivates with passion about 5.12 hectares of vines divided into 22 plots.
The villages of Écueil, Chamery and Vrigny are classified as the famous “Premier Cru” Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée. Among the three reference grape varieties of Champagne, Pinot Noir has a prominent place as it is the one that gives structure to the cuvées’ composition. Pinot Noir are planted in 3.59 hectares of the vineyard. The family wanted to make it a true marker of identity in its wines creation. Chardonnay is present on 80 ares and brings very elegant shades. The fruitiness of Pinot Meunier, present on 72 ares, comes to intensify the blending.
A multi-composite soil
Aromas of Champagne Pointillart-Leroy’s wines come from a multi-composite soil. On the top of the hillsides of Écueil, Juliette works a clay soil like in the parcel called “Les Montagnes”. Halfway down the hillsides, the parcels “Les Glaises” and “Derrière Moutier” are planted in a more calcareous-clay soil. On the bottom of the hillsides, the parcel “Les Garennes” is the best representation of an entirely sandy soil. In Vrigny, the parcel “Les Cumines” has almost the same calcareous-clay composition. On the contrary, the parcel “Le Bas Village” in Chamery is planted on a clay that is very sticky and very protective for the vine. We call this soil “the loving soil”. This soil diversity allows the House to have a wide range of aromas.
The typical soils of Pointillart-Leroy’s estate perfectly explain the aromas that compose the wines. Quality and delicacy of these Premier Cru soils ensure to make Champagne of exceptional quality. When you taste the Pointillart-Leroy Champagne, you have a glimmering of a part of its history.
A collaborative work
To perpetuate André Leroy’s heritage, Juliette is still a member of the Écueil Cooperative. She makes a point of honour to make the whole of her grapes press in the Wine Centre that was historically attached to the house. The harvest is pressed slowly to respect the grape varieties’ characteristics as much as possible. Beyond the heart commitment, the cooperation with the press centre ensures Champagne Pointillart-Leroy a very high follow-up of quality that is a token of exceptional cuvées.
To keep on making wines of great delicacy, Juliette exchanges on a regular basis with technicians of the Cooperative and with her winegrower friends. Together, they select the best juices that will compose the champagnes’ blendings. The specialist committee takes all the decisions collectively. Champagne Pointillart-Leroy draws its strength and the genuine character of its cuvées from this collaboration.
Ten days before bottling, Juliette conveys all her juices to the farm. Before bottling, Juliette and her father prepare the fermentation and the blendings. Staying true to their philosophy, these two essential steps are made jointly with the Institut Œnologique de Champagne. A professional and friend of the family comes to advise them for the blendings’ creation. Their aim is to keep the typical and significant style of the trademark. Together, they set up protocols that will allow Champagne Pointillart-Leroy to reveal all the history of the Premier Cru terroir of Écueil.
85% made with Pinot Noir, 15% made with Pinot Meunier
Descendance is the emblematic cuvée of Champagne Pointillart-Leroy. It is the image of the generations of passionate winegrowers that succeeded each other to create this Blanc de Noirs cuvée made entirely with black grapes and which is the reflection of the Premier Cru terroir of Écueil.Datasheets
70% made with Pinot Noir, 30% made with Chardonnay
The Fondations 1910 cuvée lays the foundations of Champagne Pointillart-Leroy. Established in the village of Écueil at 4 rue de Villers-aux-Noeuds for more than 100 years, the family has always maintained its love for the family house. To show how much the family is attached to this place of history, the Fondations 1910 cuvée was created and this combination of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will guide you through time.Datasheets
Brut - Rosé
85% made with Pinot Noir, 15% made with Pinot Meunier
Trois sœurs is a tribute to exceptional women. Three sisters who supported and assisted their father in the family farm, for years. This cuvée is the representation of the unfailing link existing between a father and his daughters, that is symbolised by the blending of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and red wine of Champagne.Datasheets
Corps et esprit
100% made with Chardonnay
Corps et Esprit was born from the union of the mineral Chardonnay and the terroir of Écueil. Shaped by the imagination of men and women devoted to their land, Corps et Esprit enhances the unique Chardonnay grape variety that expresses itself in a perfect unison with our Premier Cru terroir.Datasheets
L’ode à la joie
Brut - Millésimé
50% made with Pinot Noir, 50% made with Chardonnay
L’Ode à la joie is the poetic cuvée of Champagne Pointillart-Leroy. Reflection of the eternal friendship between André Leroy and Aloïs Felten during World War 1, L’Ode à la joie represents the union of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in a vintage cuvée that evokes fraternity and love between mankind.Datasheets
To meet the descendants of Champagne Pointillart-Leroy, please contact us. Our offices are open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 to 12 am and from 1h30 to 5 pm , on Wednesday from 9 to 12 am and on Saturday only by appointment. (We are closed on Sunday and on public holidays).