One of the big names of the southern Rhône is Château Rayas in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Château Rayas is managed by Emmanuel Reynaud who lives and makes the wine at Château des Tours at Sarrians, a village between Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Vacqueyras, entitled to neither moniker, hence the apparently lowly Côtes du Rhône appellation.
Situated in an old house flanked on both sides by tall towers (hence “des Tours”), Château des Tours is Emmanuel’s own family estate, which he took over from his father, Bernard, in 1989. Emmanuel is, at heart, a farmer, and here he grows food for his family, in addition to grapes. Like all Reynaud vineyards, these are tended with the same organic methods, manually ploughed, harvested much later than other producers and centred around a reverence for old-vine Grenache.
Weighty, complex and savory, the wines produced here are among the most well-regarded, sought-after bottles of the appellation.