The estate, with its forest, garrigue and soils flecked with crystalline stones was formerly the summer residence of the bishops of Toulon. In 1958 it was acquired by Gabriel Sumeire and is now under the custodianship of his grand-daughter Régine, one of the first women winemakers in the region. It was Régine who pioneered the pale pink rosé style for which the Provence region is now known, at sister estate Château Barbeyrolles. The colour, unique at the time, inspired Régine’s best friend to refer to the wine as ‘Pétale de Rose’, and the name stuck! Achieving the delicate colour, fruit profile and refined palate structure of Château Tour de l’Evêque requires pristine fruit, and Régine’s perfectionist commitment to quality is evident in the vineyards.
These are organised into plots according to exposition, soil composition and structure, and have been organically farmed for many years (certified since 2005). All grapes are picked and sorted by hand, before being pressed with a coquard press – the same as used in champagne and known for its extremely gentle action, giving only the finest juice. This is one of the keys to the quality and style of Tour de l’Evêque’s wines. In addition, the wines go through malolactic fermentation, relatively rare in rosé winemaking, giving the wines their lightly creamy, supple palate texture and stability over time.