Winery Fredi Torres | Spanish Wine Lover

Passion for Spanish wine


Despite moving to Switzerland with his mother when he was five, Galician-born Fredi Torres spent parts of his childhood with his grandparents. He recalls the animals in the family farm and the area’s traditional smallholdings. His grandparents didn’t grow vines but used to buy a couple of wine barrels to drink at home and, like many children at that time, he was given bread with sugar and wine as an afternoon snack.

His first passion was music and from a very young age he made a good living as a DJ in Switzerland. One of the first wines he bought was Torres Mas La Plana –he was bemused to see his surname on a wine label. There it started an intensive exploration of the world of wine that brought along a radical life change. He started from scratch working as a winegrower, then studied Winemaking and Viticulture. Fredi recalls how he went from earning €1,000 an hour to €1,000 a month leaving behind the glamour of nightlife to "stink of sulfur and compost".

In 2002 he tasted Clos Mogador and discovered “a new Spain beyond Rioja, Vega Sicilia and sangria” as well as producers with a hippy attitude to life in contrast with the pomp of Bordeaux and its châteaux and the modesty of Burgundian winegrowers. Fredi moved to Priorat to work at Mogador; he later became a partner and winemaker at Saó del Coster and finally launched his own brand –Fredi Torres Viticultor– in 2013.

That same year he partnered with brothers Carlos and Juan Rodríguez at Sílice Viticultores in Ribeira Sacra (Galicia). He also makes wines in other Catalan appellations like Montsant (in partnership with Frenchman Antoine Touton) and Conca de Barberà, this time with Marc Lecha. All the projects share a similar philosophy: the aim is to produce around 20,000-30,000 bottles a year including an entry-level, affordable wine and various single-vineyard wines.

In his view, Priorat Classic, his entry-level red in Priorat, is a wine of pleasure (€15, 12,000 bottles produced at the moment with a view to make 20,000-30,000 in the near future). A blend of 75% Garnacha, Cariñena and Syrah with white grapes, it is pretty different from other Priorats on that price range. Vines are planted on granite and sedimentary soils on the valley bottoms of Porrera and Falset; yields are higher than usual to keep alcohol levels low, grapes are picked early and the wine fermented with very little extraction.

La Leçon de Labourage (around €35 in Spain) is a 100% Garnacha sold as table wine. Sourced from red clay soils in La Figuera and granite soils in Falset, grapes are picked early with some whole bunches making their way to fermentation vats. Torres likes to capture “the expression of Garnacha before grapes are ripened by the sun” and thus the wine feels light-bodied and fresh.

Fredi Torres also makes a white wine at Xurxo Alba’s winery in Rías Baixas with old vines planted with a rare Albariño clone. The wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks and then aged in earthenware jars with a similar porosity to old barrels or foudres.

Coinciding with Alimentaria in Barcelona, Fredi Torres and his Conca de Barberà partner Marc Lecha host Off the Record, a wine fair with the presence of several small producers. An offshoot edition was held in Madrid in 2017.


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