The Rigord family purchased the estate in 1870; but, it was not until 1977 when Francoise Rigord, wife of Yves, decided to bottle and market the wines of the estate. The first vintage bottled for sale to the public was1981. It was then, at the very outset of this commercial venture, that we met Francoise and we have worked in happy harmony together since that time.
The name of the estate is the first indication of its long, illustrious past. Located in the heart of Provence, near routes traveled by Crusaders in the early Middle Ages, the Commanderie de Peyrassol was founded by the Knights of Templar who were dedicated to protecting the Crusaders en route to, and in, the Holy Land. The first recorded harvest took place in 1256 and winemaking has continued uninterrupted throughout the centuries. It is situated in the Var region of Provence and has become famous for its scintillating wines, principally the fine Cotes de Provence Rosé produced annually as its hallmark. We have been presenting the wines of this estate in the USA since 1981 and have always enjoyed the lovely, bright, elegant olive oil produced at the estate whenever we are dining at their table d'hote.
Produced in classic fashion from a variety of olives grown traditionally in this part of France (including Ribier, Brun, Aglandau), the Peyrassol extra virgin olive oil is quite fine, elegant on the palate with a hint of bitterness to the finish that removes this oil from the ordinary and demonstrates its breed and the many old olive trees that birth these olives. It displays notes of fresh cut herbs, artichoke and stone fruits. Its bright approach makes it a flexible companion at the table whether on a classic Niçoise salad, as a finishing touch for grilled fish, a dash thrown on a thick steak with flakes of sea salt as added stimulant or simply as a dip for fresh baked bread.