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Familia Torres: Wine Dynasty – Interview with Miguel Torres, GM
Live from Torres Headquarters, Penedes, Spain with Wine and Brandy Recommendations
The Interview, Tour and Tasting, Torres HQ
I was privileged to interview Miguel Torres Maczassek, General Manager, and 5th generation member of Familia Torres, this past week as well as members of his team at Torres Headquarters and Winery, Penedes, Spain. Familia Torres has been making wines for over one hundred and fifty years. The interview and tasting took place within the onsite restaurant, el Celleret, tasting twelve of their worldwide wines…an exceptional experience. (See how you can schedule a visit below).
I am most impressed with the leadership position that Familia Torres has taken in the areas of environmental impact, energy independence and sustainability, embracing ancestral wine varietals in light of global warming, and wine tourism excellence. Evidently the world of wine feels the same way as Familia Torres was chosen by the magazine, Drinks International, “The World’s Most Admired Wine Brand.” Torres Brandy has made quite a splash, too. It seems Torres Brandy offerings are a hit around the world, with Mexico buying up half of their worldwide stock. Join me in exploring Torres wines (see recommendations below) and wine tourism adventures. Thank you to Miguel Torres Maczassek, GM; Christoph Kammuller, Press officer; and Marc Kolling, Business Development, for my extraordinary Torres experience.
Tricia Conover with Wine Wanderings. “I'm here in Penedes in Spain with Miguel Torres, the General Manager of Familia Torres. Last year Drinks International chose Familia Torres as the ‘World's Most Admired Wine Brand.’ Congratulations! Why do you think you were selected? What was your reaction?”
Miguel Torres Maczassek: “Thank you, we are very proud of the award. It's a great honor. It's an important award. I guess that there's not one single thing. There are different [factors] why people choose us. I just can say that we're a family, and we have been making wine for a long time, more than 150 years. We look to the long term. Also, for the past years we have a lot of programs to mitigate the effects of the climate change. We have thought about recovering the ancient grape varieties. We're using regenerative viticulture in our vineyards, in order to store carbon into our soils which can regenerate these soils. I also think something that is key to this [success] is to have a strong family, but also a great team. We have a team that is dedicated every single day, trying to make the best wines possible.”
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About Familia Torres: Spain, Chile, USA
In 1870 Jaime Torres, a model nineteenth-century merchant, traveled to Cuba, and, upon returning to Spain, he and his brother Miguel founded Bodegas Torres. Since that time the family has been dedicated to wine for five generations. Familia Torres owns properties that have been cultivated for hundreds of years and view their responsibility to ensure the viability of this land creating wines of elegance and a unique sense of place. Torres properties span many Spanish wine regions including Penedes, Priorat, Costers del Segre, Ribera del Duero, Rias Baixas, and Rioja. Chile properties are found in the regions of the Curico Valley, Maule Valley, Empedrado, Itata Valley, and Coyhaique in Patagonia. Marimar Estate Vineyards and Winery, Sebastopol, Sonoma Valley is directed by Marimar Torres, daughter of Don Miguel, her father.
Recovering Ancestral Wine Varieties in Light of Climate Change
“For the past 15 years, Tricia, we have been trying to recover ancestral varieties that were in Catalonia. Today, we already have recovered close to 64 ancestral varieties. From those we are making the best wines… . For example, we are now tasting the Forcada (an ancestral variety that survived the phylloxera plague that devastated European vineyards in the late 19th century). Forcada has a great acidity. It has great aromatics, and it’s very open and fresh. This would be our best white variety that we have found. Catalonia used to be like a sanctuary of ancient varieties. Salute!” – Miguel Torres Maczassek.
Torres Signature Wine Tourism Experiences
Schedule your own public or private wine tasting in Penedes or at one of their worldwide wineries. These visits may include wine tasting, tapas and cheese pairing, and vineyard tours. Signature tours have included “Painting with Wine,” “Eco Team-building,” “Making Cocktails,” and “Giancana in the Vineyards.” Enjoy a tour of the headquarters area vineyards in their Electric Vehicle trams, part of the Torres sustainability program.
Penedes programs can include:
· Visit the Wineries: Wine and Tapas Pairings, Public events.
· Exclusive Private Wine Experience with a wine educator.
· Legacy Wine Experience to the Mas La Plana vineyard.
Other Torres Winery/tasting locations:
Tarragona: Castell de Milmanda
Lleida: Cellar Purgatori
Barcelona, Passeig De Gràcia, 78: Torres Pop Up Store/Tasting Bar
Torres & Earth
View the Torres & Earth exhibit at Torres HQ to understand:
*Ways in which this generational family company believes in social, environmental, and financial sustainability.
*Was named “Green Company of the Year 2021” by UK magazine, The Drinks Business.
*Employs regenerative viticulture practices.
*Uses renewable energies and self-generated energy sources which account for 30% of the energy used at the Penedès winery.
*Recovers ancestral grape varieties of Spain to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.
*In collaboration with research universities is studying CO2 capture and reuse technologies.
Torres Wine and Brandy Recommendations
Torres Milmanda Chardonnay, 2018 Conca de Barbera, Spain, $104
James Suckling, 95 Points
Familia Torres Celeste Crianza 2018, Ribera del Duero, Spain, $25
Wine Spectator, 90 Points.
Decanter, 94 Points
Miguel Torres describes this as: “A very classic vintage of Mas La Plana. Black fruit aromas – blackberry, blackcurrant, some blackcurrant leaf, coffee, and dark chocolate hints. Complex, layered palate, with mouth-filling black fruit, plum, licorice, very elegant tannins, and well-integrated oak (18 months in French oak, 85% new). Very smooth and balanced, showing considerable freshness and finesse.”
Familia Torres Salmos 2017, Priorat, Spain, $40
James Suckling, 93 Points
Familia Torres Cos Perpetual, 2017, Priorat, Spain, $92
James Suckling, 93 Points
Torres 10 Year Brandy, ml, $16
Torres Alta Lux, Christalino Brandy, new July 2021
Torres 20 Brandy, 750 ml, $65
Torres 30 Jaime I Brandy, 750 ml, $129
The bottle design is in homage to the architect, Gaudí
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