After the First World War, Manuel De Sousa, a member of the Portuguese expeditionary force that reinforced the Allies, settled down in Champagne with his family to find work. His eldest son, Antoine, married Zoémie Bondeville, the daughter of a family of Champagne growers, and Champagne De Sousa was born.
Today, the estate covers 11 hectares of the most coveted terroirs of the Côte des Blancs, of which majority are Grand Cru, and 75% of its vines more than 50 years of age - a relative rarity in Champagne.
Erick, the head of the house in its second generation, took De Sousa to new heights. He converted the entire domain to biodynamic in 1999, obtaining full certification in 2010. Erick regards his work in the vineyards as key to the quality of the grapes. The soil is ploughed for ventilation and restoration of microbial life, and two hectares of the vineyard is trudged exclusively by horse.
De Sousa Champagnes are made without any chemical additive, nor herbicide and pesticide. Instead, administration of treatments according to the lunar calendar ensure that natural energy is channelled into the vines. The wines in fermentation may even rub off the Mozart effect, as they are treated to Mozart's music periodically in the cellar.
Champagne De Sousa produces nearly ten cuvées. Erick expresses it this way, 'We seek authenticity in our wines. We want them to carry emotions, display the specific minerality of the Champagne soil, have great depth and have a long finish...'