Domaine de la Rectorie
Domaine de la Rectorie is the winery of Thierry Parcé and his son Jean-Emmanuel Parcé, located on the Mediterranean coast in Banyuls-sur-Mer, close to the Spanish border. The vineyards planted with local grape varieties rise steeply from the coast to an elevation of about 400 meters making the sea’s influence tangible.
Domaine de la Rectorie produces mostly red wines but they also make some white, rosé and sweet wines. The wines come under the appellations of AOC Collioure and AOC Banyul. The difference is not geographical but is instead based on production methods: Banyuls are fortified wines but Collioure are dry wines.
Grenache Noir, Grenache Gris, Grenache Blanc, Carignan, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Counoise varieties grow on 50 different plots which together cover 35 hectares. Growing close together, the vines are largely over 50 years old and yields are low (25 hl/ha in average). The soils consist predominantly of slate. The Mediterranean breeze cools the temperatures especially during the summer when inland temperatures can become unbearably hot. The harvest for dry whites is between mid and end of August and for reds at the beginning of September. Early harvest times ensure freshness in the wines. Harvest for the sweet wines is later, ending in general around mid to end of September. Harvest and all other vineyard work is done by hand. In some of the vineyards the soil is ploughed with the help of a mule and a horse.
The vineyards have been in the Parcé family for many generations.
Thérèse Parcé (born Reig), Thierry’s great-grandmother, took care of the vineyards for five decades until 1969. Then, the property produced grapes for the local co-operative.
In 1976 Thérèse’s great-grandchild Marc returned to Banyuls and started to work on the vineyards he inherited. In 1981 he asked his brother Thierry to help out when one of their workers became ill. Thierry, who lived at the time in Paris with his wife and small child, decided to settle down with his family in Banyuls. The only challenge was that the work didn’t produce enough for both brothers to live on so Thierry went to work at a close-by winery. In three years, he learned the secrets of wine from traditional winemakers, some of whom had escaped from Spain during the ‘30s civil war. During these years Thierry came up with the idea of making their own wine. Marc was tempted by the idea and in 1984 the brothers made their first own wine. Slowly the production became established and currently Domaine de Rectorie vinifies all their grapes themselves. In 2010 Marc left La Rectorie to take care of other projects related to wine, and Jean-Emmanuel joined his father Thierry.
Together the father and the son produce today more than fifteen different wines each of which reflect their unique Mediterranean origin.