Torres is a heavyweight in Spanish wine with a foot on Chile and California. In 2017 the company's turnover rose to €266 million, up 1% from the previous year. It boasts 2,000 hectares of vines spread across different wine regions, most of them in Catalonia, and owns wine facilities in Penedès, Priorat, Costers del Segre, Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Rueda and Rías Baixas. It also produces wine in Conca de Barberà and launched its first sparkling wine (not a Cava) two years ago under the Vardot Kennett brand. Despite its size, Torres remains a family-owned company.
Named the world’s most admired wine brand for two consecutive years in 2014 and 2015, Torres wines can be found in 150 countries. Selling wine overseas was one of the goals pursued by Jaime Torres Vendrell when he founded the company together with his brother Miguel in 1870. At the time Jaime, who had just returned from Cuba, wanted to send wine to America. The second generation, with Joan Torres Casals at the helm, set up the distillation of brandies whereas Miguel Torres Carbó (third generation) actively promoted the bottling of wines and opened new export markets.
An innovative and pioneering company, Torres registered the brand Coronas in 1907. Its well-known brandy Torres 10 was released in 1946 while the distinctive Mediterranean red Sangre de Toro was launched in 1945.
Miguel A. Torres, fourth generation, planted international grape varieties in Penedès which would eventually become the company’s premium range: Milmanda (Chardonnay, €58, DO Costers del Segre), Fransola (Sauvignon Blanc, €23, DO Penedès), Mas Borrás (Pinot Noir, €30, DO Penedès) and specially Cabernet Sauvignon Mas La Plana (€62, DO Penedès). Formerly known as Gran Coronas Etiqueta Negra, this Torres Cab won the World Wine Olympics organised by wine magazine Gault-Millau in Paris in 1979 outperforming many legendary grand crus from Bordeaux. In the late 1990s the company released a Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot blend called Torres Reserva Real (€1810, DO Penedès) after the visit of King Juan Carlos I on the occasion of the company’s 125th anniversary.
Over the last few years, considerable research has been done to identify and recover obscure indigenous varieties in Catalonia, some of which are already part of the blend of Grans Muralles (around €112, DO Conca de Barberà). The latest addition to the range follows the style of Grans Muralles at a fraction of its price: Purgatori (€29) is a blend of Garnacha, Carignan and Syrah, with grapes sourced from L’Aranyó vineyard in Les Garrigues (DO Costers del Segre).
Single vineyard grapes are fermented separately and aged in special facilities within the company's winemaking plant in Pacs del Penedès. This bodega, which has been named after Miguel A. Torres’ wife Waltraud, has just been fitted with fermentation and aging halls for their Mas La Plana Cabernet.
Many classic Torres brands are sold under the large umbrella of the DO Catalunya. This is the case with whites Viña Esmeralda (Moscatel and Gewürztraminer, around €7) and Viña Sol (Parellada and White Garnacha, €5) or reds Sangre de Toro (Garnacha and Carignan, €5), Gran Sangre de Toro (with some Syrah added, €12.5) and Coronas (Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon, €6). Waltraud (Riesling, €16.5), Gran Viña Sol (Chardonnay and Parellada; below €10 in Spain) and the Atrium range (a €8 Chardonnay and a €9.5 Merlot) are classified as DO Penedès.
Miguel A. Torres is one of the few Spanish producers to have been named Decanter Man of the Year –in 2004. He has also been named “Spanish Wine personality” in the recently created IWC Merchant Awards for Spain. Particularly concerned with climate change, he has been the driving force behind environmentally friendly policies including a commitment to reduce CO2 emissions, improve biodiversity, promote sustainable building, renewable energy and waste management and reduce energy consumption.
The fifth generation has joined the company following a strict family protocol. Since 2012 Miguel A.’s son Miguel Torres Maczasseck is the company’s general manager while his sister Mireia is in charge of the R&D department and Jean Leon. Torres welcomes almost 700,000 visitors per year who can choose between a large range of wine tours and activities, tastings and food experiences.