Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp and remove it to paper towels to drain. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings.
Add the onions, celery, and thyme and sautÃ© until the vegetables begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the insert of a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker.
Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours, until the potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the bay leaf before serving.