The spirit of Jacques Reynaud, the godfather of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, is always present. When the legendary founder of Château Rayas died suddenly in 1997, his wife asked their nephew, Emmanuel Reynaud, to take the reins at both Château Rayas and Château Fonsalette. Already making wines at his father's Château des Tours, Emmanuel agreed.
He is somewhat reclusive, and can be found working his vineyards at most any time of day, every day. Emmanuel does not revel in the fame and notoriety that come with making such sought-after and acclaimed wines, but he continues to carry the mantle of his famous forebears, producing hauntingly aromatic wines at his three estates: Château Rayas, Château des Tours and Château de Fonsalette.
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 plowed, harvested much later than other producers and centered around a reverence for old-vine Grenache.
Château des Tours is located in Sarrians, Côtes-du-Rhône, just outside Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Weighty, complex and savory, the wines produced here are among the most well-regarded, sought-after bottles of the appellation.