The Prieux family’s roots in the Champagne region date back to the 1600s. Eventually, Christophe’s grandfather (Pierre) settled in Reims and started a nursery business. Christophe’s father (Jean) further developed this business of plants and trees. Finally, in 1990, Christophe joined his father after earning his international business degree with studies in both Reims and London. Christophe eventually left that business after developing it into the leading chain (Jardiland) of nursery and garden centers in both France and Spain.
Christophe’s reason for leaving the family business was simple. He felt that the most emblematic activity in the Champagne region was the production of Champagne … and he wanted to pursue that endeavor.
In 2003, Christophe met Madame Ployez and began a collaboration with her in the tiny and historic Maison Ployez-Jacquemart, located in Ludes in the prestigious Montagne de Reims. A few years later (2007), Christophe was offered ownership of Champagne Gardet in the next town over, Chigny-les-Roses (also in the Montagne de Reims). Christophe now owns both houses, which are at the same time different and complementary.
Champagne Gardet is considered a small-to-medium size house in Champagne. They make about a million bottles per year. To put that in perspective, Moet et Chandon produces about 25 million bottles per year and Dom Perignon makes about 5 million bottles per year. The emphasis at Gardet is to do more than what is required — to go above and beyond the regulations. That quality comes through in their entire line of bubbles.
Christophe’s passion for his Champagne roots is evident as he follows his dream of producing this unique and storied product. Gardet is now in about 30 countries worldwide and is continually gaining in reputation. It’s been said that GARDET MAKES THE BEST CHAMPAGNE THAT YOU HAVE NEVER HEARD OF.
Gardet’s Brut Tradition Champagne was the Official Champagne of the City of Paris for 2 years. Soon thereafter, it was picked up by Macron’s Élysée Palace (French White House) to be served at State dinners. For years, that same Gardet Brut Tradition Champagne has been (and still is) the Official Champagne of the House of Parliament in England.
Like his Champagnes, Christophe is an elegant and refined man.
His motto is: You don’t need an occasion to drink Champagne; you simply have to know how to create them.
Meet Christophe and taste Champagne Gardet at this year’s l’Eté du Vin.