Domaine de Rapatel – Languedoc, France
@domainederapatel is a family-owned estate, helmed by Gérard Eyraud since 1979. Rumor has it that Gérard was once a fearless bullfighter, and his wife, Christine, is a concert pianist. The estate sits in a rugged, almost biblical landscape beneath the backdrop of a military airfield, where the strains of Beethoven’s piano concertos linger in the air.
Gérard follows his instincts, guided by what feels right and tastes good. His wines exude a robust, earthy character, like something that’s been brewed rather than meticulously vinified. It’s as though he secretly stirs a large, simmering mash under the full moon until it’s just right—that’s how his wines taste.
Domaine de Rapatel, comprising 29 hectares of vineyards, is located on the outskirts of the Camargue. The name Rapatel is a nod to the “hot sun” that bathes their southeast vineyards.
Eyraud, simply known as Rapatel, does not follow trends and dismisses labels. He tends to his vineyards using natural practices, respecting insects, promoting organic growth through grassing, and relying on minimal treatments like sulfur, copper, and cow’s whey.
Low yields and sheep-assisted maintenance are integral to the landscape. The soil varies from grassy areas to rounded pebbles to clay.
Winemaking at Rapatel is characterized by minimal intervention—no yeast, sulfur dioxide, or wood is used. The fermentations are extended, resulting in structured wines. The reds remain unfiltered and are aged for three years in vats before they can be enjoyed.
In every bottle of wine produced at Rapatel, one can find the spirit and personality of Gérard Eyraud, a testament to this family estate’s unique and authentic character.
Cultivation: 29 ha
Varieties: Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Cabernet, Merlot, Marselan, Roussanne, Chasan, Bourboulenc