The Sumeire family has owned the Font-Freye estate since 1933 and acquired The Château La Tour de l’Evêque in 1958. Formerly the summer residence of the archibishops of Toulon, the Château La Tour de l’Evêque, located in Pierrefeu-du-Var is part of the History of Provence. Queen Mary, Countess of Provence, gave privileges on this land to the inhabitants of Cuers. The sister of King René, Queen Jeanne, the Queen of Naples, is thought to have stayed there.
In the hilly valley of the Maurettes the land Schisteux des Phyllades de Hyères consits of shaley soil derived from Silurian layers, and Permian red sandstone. The vines covering 78 hectares are on average twenty years old. As a result of old family traditions and respect for health and the surrounding environment, our vineyard are run according to organic agriculture regulations since 2005. The wine making process preserves and enhances the earth of the vineyard.
At La Tour de l’Evêque, visitors are welcomed by the “Dolphins’ Fountain”. According to the legend, it is said that in the old days there was no water in the estate, because when the lady of the manor’s husband left for the crusades, she poisoned the well with her tears… A few centuries later, Gabriel Sumeire, put an end to this curse. With his visionary genius, he linked the property to the fabulously abundant Font-Freye spring conveying the water by gravity to the “Dolphins’ fountain”.
Roger Sumeire, who was in charge of the family estates from 1946 and who worked in close collaboration with his father Gabriel, carried out works on a vast scale to build dry-stones walled vine terraces.
His daughter Régine Sumeire ensures the continuity of the family work. At the end of 2010, she started to enlarge the existing winery with a new building allowing to follow gravity during the entire winemaking process. The winery was ready for the 2011 harvest.