Winery Familia Torres | Spanish Wine Lover

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Familia Torres is a heavyweight in Spanish wine with a foot on Chile and California. It boasts 2,000 hectares of vines spread across Penedès, Priorat, Costers del Segre, Conca de Barberà, Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Rías Baixas and Rueda. They own wine facilities in all of these regions except in Conca de Barberà. Vardon Kennett, its first sparkling wine launched at the end of 2016, doesn’t belong to any appellation.

Despite its size, it remains a family-owned company with a strong brand presence internationally. With their wines available in 150 countries, Familia Torres has been named Europe’s most admired brand for nine years by beverage magazine Drinks International. 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 Juan 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 eventually became the company’s premium range: Milmanda (Chardonnay, €62, DO Costers del Segre), Fransola (Sauvignon Blanc, €25, DO Penedès), Waltraud (Riesling, €19, DO Penedès), Mas Borrás (Pinot Noir, €30, DO Penedès, only for export) and specially Cabernet Sauvignon Mas La Plana (€85, 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 Bordeaux grand crus. In the late 1990s the company released a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot called Torres Reserva Real (€277, 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 (Garró and Querol) are part of the blend of Grans Muralles (around €170, DO Conca de Barberà). There is also a new Chardonnay in this appellation, Son de Prades (€26) and a new red from DO Penedès, Vinyarets (€12, a blend of indigenous grape varieties: Garnacha, Tempranillo and Sumoll). Other major developments include Purgatori, an ambitious project in Costers del Segre, and the new single-vineyard red Mas de la Rosa that sits now at the top of the range in Priorat over Salmos and Perpetual.

Single vineyard grapes are fermented separately and aged in ad-hoc facilities in the company's winemaking plant in Pacs del Penedès. This bodega, which was named after Miguel A. Torres’s wife Waltraud, has independent fermentation and ageing facilities for Mas La Plana Cabernet.

Popular, market-oriented brands sold as DO Catalunya (the whites Viña Esmeralda and Viña Sol or the reds Sangre de Toro, Gran Sangre de Toro and Coronas) are no longer part of the Familia Torres portfolio. This is also the case of the white Gran Viña Sol and the Atrium range from DO Penedès.

Miguel A. Torres is one of the few Spanish producers to have been named Decanter Man of the Year –in 2004. He was also named “Spanish Wine personality” at the 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. He has also fostered WfCP (Wineries for Climate Protection), the first specific wine certification in terms of environmental sustainability, which is awarded by the Spanish Wine Federation. More recently, Familia Torres has joined forces with Jackson Family Wines, a family-owned company in the US to set up the International Wineries for Climate Action group. The aim of this association is to bring together the most environmentally committed wine producers in order to achieve an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions in the global wine industry.

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 70,000 visitors per year who can enjoy a wide range of wine tours and activities, tastings and food experiences. In 2017 the company's turnover was €258 million.

TASTING NOTES

Esplendor Vardon Kennett Extra Brut 2013 Espumoso
Milmanda 2016 Blanco
Grans Muralles 2015 Tinto
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