The estate was founded in 1982 in Collioure by Vincent Cantié to take care of the family patrimony and to protect the steep vineyard of the Cru Collioure & Banyuls from tourism economy expansion. A few years later, Christine Campadieu joined him, bringing her own family vineyard from Banyuls.
The vineyard is carved into the schist mountain, organized by small paved drainage ditches. The growing methods are very close to the organic way, traducing our environment commitment even if we are not under any charter. Because of the steep slopes and traditional architecture with terraces made of low dry-stone walls and thanks to the favorable climate, our culture resists mechanization and requires aduous manual labor, as it was for our ancestors ; this is precisely what soul and spirit that we love and we want to preserve.
The côte Vermeille would be very different without these steep hills due to the Albères mounts that emerged from the Mediterranean sea. The vine stock densityis about 5000 to 6000 stock/hectare, so the exposition to the sun and the sun is good. Most of the varieties are pruned in ‘gobelet shape’ that provides shadow to the fruits thanks to the leaves.
Traditionally in the region, several grape-varieties can be planted in the same plot. At an altitude of 2 to 220m above the sea level, our vineyard overlooks the Mediterranean sea.
The main variety is Grenache, called the ‘king’ of the vineyard and can be white, grey or black. It is the only grape-variety we use for Banyuls wines. Some secondary varieties are also interesting to diversify the aromatic bouquet of Collioure wines.
The area of production is the same for the two appellations :
BANYULS : natural sweet wines ; red or white, the traditional production of the region
COLLIOURE : dry wines ; red, rosé or white, the other kind of wine produced in this area.
The Mediterranean climate is very windy (by the Tramontane principally) and sunny with low rainfall in summer. As a matter of fact, the grappes are well ripped and healthy.
Picking period takes place from end of August to end of September. The number of varieties allow us to harvest slowly, at the right moment for each one. We generally start with grenache, then comes syrah and the last one are carignan or mourvèdre.
The soil of the côte Vermeille is one of the oldest terroirs in Europe. Schist rock is very undershot so the roots have to thrive deep in it to extract water and nutrients. That explains the low yields and the concentration of the fruits that grow healthily. As we know, vine produces the best grapes when is stressed, so it is easy to understand why ours are so complex!
Vincent Cantié that founded and owns the estate is from an old anchovies seller’s family of Collioure for whom the vine culture was a secondary activity. After agronomic studies and travels abroad, Vincent commited himself to this adventure.
After more than 30 years, La Tour Vieille reached a certain notoriety, and this is thanks to the regularity and achievement of the team. We are 6 people to work here all the year, from the vinegrowing to the winemaking and finally the sale.
Thomas, Michel and Jean at the vineyard,
Véronique at the office (for almost than 20 years yet)
Clémence and Vincent at the cellar and the sales.
The job is of course never the same, so we have to adapt to the constant evolution cycle of the vine and the wine ; what is, for sure, a good thing to avoid boredom and routine.