Politics, philosophy and chemistry were among the occupations and accomplishments of the first of the Raspail family to invest in Gigondas. Their fame was such that a Boulevard and a Metro station were named after one of them in Paris.
However, the château and vineyards that currently rank among their claims to fame were acquired by the Meffre family in 1979. In 1936 Gabriel Meffre had founded a négociant firm and ended up owning huge swathes of vineyard land, over 900 hectares, by the time of his death in 1987. At that time the land was divided among his several children and the 40 hectares and Italianate villa of Château Raspail in Gigondas came to Christophe Meffre as part of his inheritance.
He remains involved but today it is a brother-and-sister combination, François and Caroline Meffre, run this château along with other properties in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Travaillan.
Grenache dominates the grape mix here, with syrah, cinsault and mourvédre in support, and winemaking errs on the traditional side: ageing in large oak foudres is the order of the day. The family uphold Gabriel's reputation for wonderful Gigondas at the château, which remains an important estate in the appellation.