Domaine de la Rectorie
Domaine de la Rectorie is the winery of the brothers Marc and Thierry Parcé that is right on the Mediterranean coast in Collioure close to the Spanish border. The vineyards covered in local grape varieties rise steeply from the coast to an elevation of about 400 meters and the sea’s influence is tangible.
Domaine de la Rectorie produces mostly red wine but they also make some white, rosé and sweet wine. The wines come under the appellations of Collioure and Banyuls AOC. The difference is not geographical but is instead based on production methods: Banyuls are fortified wines but Collioure are table wines.
Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Grenache Gris varieties grow on 30 different plots which together cover 30 hectares. Each grape variety is vinified separately. Growing close together, the vines are largely over 50 years old and yields are moderate. The soils consist of clay, sand and slate. The Mediterranean breeze cools the temperatures especially during the summer when inland temperatures can become unbearably hot. The harvest for dry whites is at the 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 late, sometimes only in October. Harvest is done by hand.
The vineyards have been in the Parcé family for over a century. The winery was largely formed by the brothers’ grandmother, Thérèse Parcé, who ran the estate for five decades until 1969. When the younger generations had settled elsewhere and Thérèse couldn’t find a winemaker to continue work, the property started producing grapes for the local co-operative.
In 1976 Thérèse’s great-grandchild Marc returned to Banyuls and started to work on the winery he inherited. In 1981 he asked his brother Thierry to help out when one of their workers became ill. Thierry with his wife and small child decided to settle down in the family’s old home. 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 warmed to the idea and in 1984 the brothers made their first own wine. Slowly the production became surer and today Domaine de Rectorie vinifies all their wines. They produce eight different wines each of which reflects its unique Mediterranean origin.