With time we grow and over time our wines mature. This process makes us richer with each new vintage and so much richer with each new generation. We are constantly learning, from others and from watching the passing of time, our history.
The first Pellé winemakers made wine for their own consumption, to have something good to drink with Sunday lunch and something thirst- quenching when working in the vineyard or fields. And then, because the wine was good, it was sold to friends for parties and weddings, and to licensed premises nearby.
Our earliest written records of trade reveal that Paul Pellé transported and sold barrels of wine to brasseries in Bourges in the early 20th century. The navigable waterways were not close enough to envisage selling further afield.
Ernest Pellé, Paul’s son, also produced wine but in addition created a vine nursery. The plants were sold in the Mentou-Salon and Sancerre appellation areas. This business continued into the early 60’s. In 1959, Menetou-Salon wines started to build an image for themselves, following the creation of an appellation d’origine contrôlée
Ernest’s son, the young Henry Pellé, aware of the rich quality of his terroirs in Morogues, insisted that the village’s name be allowed to appear after that of the appellation on the wine label. Since then our Mentou-Salon Morogues, at the heart of our range, has remained the Domaine’s flagship wine.
Henry Pellé invested with confidence: he bought vineyards whenever he could and in 1970 he had wine cellars built below his Les Cris vineyard. Wheels were in motion but there was still some risk involved; in order to sell all the production, Henry and his wife, Alberte, tirelessly visited wine fairs in nearby départements and started to envisage distribution both in France and abroad. But Menetou-Salon was still the younger, less famous sister to Sancerre, the appellation which was systematically preferred.
Then in the late 70’s Henry acquired 5 hectares of vineyards in Sancerre. He took advantage of the quality of this new production to promote his Menetou-Salon and Morogues. When his son, Eric, joined him in 1980, the Domaine was already a reference for Sauvignon Blanc wines. The hard toil continued but now there were two of them and some fresh ideas. New terroirs were identified and acquired and “Les Blanchais” became a quality addition to the range.
More and more customers, from further and further away, needed to be attended to. Eric’s young wife, Anne, joined the Domaine to help her mother-in-law in the office. By then, the Domaine had grown to the size it is today. Henry’s gamble had paid off.
Tragically Eric died in an accident in 1995. Anne and Henry were fortunate enough to find Julien Zernott, a young oenology graduate at the time, to take over Eric’s work. Together they continued the work. 1996 saw the appearance of the “Vignes de Ratier” and “Les Cris” wines. Julien’s work on the reds in particular enabled the Domaine to remain at the forefront of the appellation. In 2007, Julien handed over to Paul-Henry Pellé, Ann and Eric’s son, who created his very first vintage. We hear that a new wine is on the way.