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Torres Winery

On one of the sites I read: "What's the point of visiting a winery if you don't plan to buy boxes there? ...And climbing through cellars with barrels ... - is of dubious interest."


Torres Winery, Spain  | Fenix.info - Discover the fascinating world of winemaking at Torres Vineyard. GetYourGuide: Learn about the rich heritage, innovative techniques, and exquisite wines crafted by Torres. Explore now!
Torres Winery, Spain

I completely agree with this opinion: why should a person who has reached Dontsova's level in his life read some Proust or Marquez? Someone who drinks "Monk's Tear" or "Wine Arbatskoe" does not need to go to Bordeaux or Rioja. To each his own, as it was written on the gate of one concentration camp.


Since I sincerely hope that among my readers are those who prefer to "climb cellars", then ... let's visit the cellars of the winery "Torres".


Of course, the first thing that comes to your eyes in the articles about this famous winery is an enthusiastic phrase: "Did you know that Torres wines are preferred by Spanish monarch Juan Carlos and Antonio Banderas, the favourite of thousands of women?".
Grigory Pasko, journalist, for Fenix.info.
  1. "So what?"

  2. Torres winery tour

  3. Video film.

  4. We've had some berries. Now for the tasting.

  5. Stories about the winery

  6. Retreat

  7. Torres Wine Empire.

  8. The wine lineup. What to drink?

  9. Speaking of quality

  10. Torres wines: the numbers...

  11. Catalonia, Torres and Jean Léon.

  12. Jean Léon's winery


1. It makes me want to ask: "So what?"


The fact is that I'm the kind of amateur who prefers to see with my own eyes and try something out for myself before giving my opinion. An actor's opinion, for example, may not necessarily be the same as mine. Although with regard to Torres wines, I am more likely to agree with the praise.


Torres Winery, Spain | FENX.info - Discover the fascinating world of winemaking at Torres Vineyard. GetYourGuide: Learn about the rich heritage, innovative techniques, and exquisite wines crafted by Torres. Explore now!
Torres Winery, Spain

2. Tour of the Torres winery: a hastily organised visit


It is best to visit the winery alone or in a small group, without a quick tour. However, the Torres winery is more often visited during a holiday, for example, in Salou. From there there are buses for excursions to Montserrat, and on the way back stop in Vilafranca del Penedès, where, in fact, there is a part of the vineyards of the huge estate "Torres".


Unfortunately, I went with this tour, so I did NOT enjoy the visit to the winery because I was deprived of the opportunity to stick my curious nose where I wanted to go. Otherwise...



3. A video about the history of the winery and the Torres family


We were shown a video about the history of the winery and the Torres family (the film is old and bad in that it doesn't say a word about the main wealth of the famous winery - the people who actually grow the grapes and make the wine. By the way, in the promotional booklet "Vendimia. Torres Magazine 2015" does not have this flaw. The company's marvellous website also avoids this flaw).


Then, on an almost toy, but comfortable, train, we were taken around the farm. Here, say, wine cellars (from afar); here is a tunnel room for maturation of wines in bottled condition (somewhere behind a fence and behind glass); over there - warehouses (from afar); over there - laboratory (even further away)... That's it, here we are. You can walk to the vineyards. Thank you. We walked. The vineyards are well-groomed, beautiful, with heavy ripe bunches. There are rose bushes by the straight rows. Beautiful.


Once the rose had an applied meaning: phylloxera first struck the rose, and then, after a day, the vine. Thus, the rose as if warned the winemaker - it was time to join the fight against the contagion. They say there was also a reason to plant roses. Horses sometimes wandered into the vineyards and devoured the vines. The thorny rose bushes prevented this. Now there are neither phylloxera nor horses roaming uncontrolled in the vineyards. So roses have only one function left - beauty.


The winery and the Torres family / Fenix.info - Discover the fascinating world of winemaking at Torres Vineyard. GetYourGuide: Learn about the rich heritage, innovative techniques, and exquisite wines crafted by Torres. Explore now!
The winery and the Torres family

4. We've had some berries. Now for the tasting


Tasted a drop of red and a drop of white. Then it's off to the shop and goodbye.


No, I don't like that. I felt like I was getting rid of them for my own money. Ideally, an excursion to a winery implies leisurely inspection of cellars, barrels, plantations and leisurely wine tasting under the murmuring stories of a professional guide.


And the more names in the tasting list, the better: to choose what you need and then buy it immediately. (By the way, it is not necessarily that a bottle of wine at a winery will be cheaper than in a supermarket. Quite the opposite - it will be more expensive. Oh, come on. Give me a tasting. Not just two wines, but at least five or six).


Perhaps I was unlucky with that excursion. Perhaps, it is such an idea of the owners and marketers: the bait is given, the bait is swallowed - come again. I will! In exact accordance with my favourite rule: if someone somewhere is NOT waiting for me, I will not be late. And seriously, I liked the winery in general. You can see that everything is made according to the latest technology and with the use of modern technologies.
Grigory Pasko, journalist, for FENIX.info

5. A little history about the Torres winery


Born in 1839 in Catalonia (Villafranca del Penedes), Jaime Torres left for America at the age of 16. He didn't make it to America, he got stuck in Havana. After 15 years he returned to his native Catalonia with a Caribbean accent, a little money and a dream to create... a winery. He set up an office in Barcelona. Soon he started his own business: a winery, a textile factory and the newspaper Diario del Comercio.


I don't know how the newspaper and textile business went, but in 1873 Torres' wines won an award at an exhibition in Vienna. After the death of Jaime Torres, his brother Miguel took over the management of the farm. Then Miguel's son Juan, then Juan's son Miguel. It was already 1939.



6. A small digression


Besides Guernica in 1937, bombers of the fascist legion "Condor", it turns out, bombed in 1939 Barcelona and destroyed ...the winery of Torres. The name "Torres" is first mentioned in documents in 1870. Brothers Jaime and Miguel Torres, who founded the company, were clearly brave guys: they started winegrowing at a time when in neighbouring France, since 1863, the phylloxera epidemic was raging in full swing.


However, the brothers were not only brave men, but also hereditary winemakers. A representative of the fourth generation of Torres, also Miguel, was the first in Spain to cultivate French "Sauvignon", "Chardonnay", "Cabernet", German "Riesling". He revitalised Spanish vines ("gras murales"). The Torres were the first to make organic wine.



7. Torres Wine Empire


The Torres wine empire now encompasses vineyards not only in Spain, but also in Chile, California, Mexico and even China. If I understand anything about the business, the next Torres expansion will stretch into South Africa and Australia. The authoritative Wine Enthusiast named Torres the best European winery in 2007. It noted "innovation, research, relevance".


What caught my eye here was the word "research". It is clear that nothing has been done "by eye" for a long time. Monitoring the maturity of the grapes, the condition of the vines and soil, acidity and degrees - all this and much more is "research". It is from the laboratory that the command to harvest comes.
Grigory Pasko, journalist, for Fenix.info.

And research also includes developing ways to reduce environmental impact; restoring ancient Catalan grape varieties... In short, ampelographers and oenologists will not be out of work. Torres has many vineyards in Spain in different regions: Ribera del Duero, Rioja, Conca de Barbera, Rueda, Rias Baixas, Jumilia, Priorat and, of course, Penedes.


Given the overseas plantations, the wine range includes all types of wines - rosé, white, red, sweet wines, muscat and pisco, brandy and tequila...The company also produces sparkling wines, non-alcoholic wines, olive oil and grape vinegar.



8. The wine range. What to drink?


There is one clever answer to this stupid question: drink everything! The average consumer, however, is unlikely to have enough money to buy it all. So let's listen to the advice of the experienced. The experienced recommend:


Torres Ibericos, Salmos, Gran Sangre de Toro, Gran Coronas, Santa Digna, Atrium Merlot, Celeste, Vina Esmeralda.... For connoisseurs with a tight purse - Mas La Plana, Fransola, Celeste Crianza, Purgatori, Reserva Real, Perpetual, Grans Muralles, Milmanda, Conde de Superunda, Marimar Estate "Cristina" Pinot Noir and, of course, Jean Leon Vinya la Scala Gran Reserva.


Somewhere I came across this characterisation:


"The Torres company has changed not so much qualitatively as quantitatively, continuing to produce reliable, though not always interesting wines...". The company's website lists the characteristics of 45 (forty-five!) wines produced by Torres.


In order to make a conclusion about "not always interesting" wines, I, at least, would have to try all 45 wines. I tried ten of them. And all ten of them seemed to me, a layman, to be of high quality.


9. Speaking of quality


In 1979, Torres' wine Gran Coronas Black Label Mas la Plana from the 1970 vintage won the Paris wine competition of the Gault- Millau magazine. This wine beat out Chateau Latour and Chateau Haut-Brion. (It was this wine that former King Juan Carlos I of Spain ordered for his table).


I have not tasted the California wines of Miguel Torres' sister Marimar ($50 to $100 a bottle). I fully admit that they are excellent. Mireya's daughter's Perpetual (technical director of Bodegas Torres), on the other hand, I have tasted. This wine, as it says on their website, is indeed "capable of defeating time". And when I was writing these lines, I uncorked a bottle of Celeste - and the nasty weather outside my Moscow window immediately improved.


It should be noted that Torres wines are quite well known in Russia. Especially such wines as Sangre de Toro, Soronas, Ibericos... By the way, the owner of the company himself has been to Russia. It is written that he studies Russian and reads Leo Tolstoy in the original.
Grigory Pasko, journalist, for Fenix.info.

10. Torres wines: figures ...


Torres wines are exported to 142 countries of the world

1300 hectares - the total area of vineyards owned today by the Torres family.

50 varieties of vines from France, Italy and Germany were planted by Torres in the vineyards of Penedes in the middle of the last century.

12,000 oak barrels are stored in the Torres cellars in long underground galleries stretching for two kilometres.


The winery in Penedes has 70 hybrid-powered machines.

Solar panels generate about 11 per cent of the winery's energy.



11. Catalonia, Torres and Jean Lenon


A few words about Jean Lenon. Miguel Torres recalled: "At the very beginning of the 60's I also went to America - at that time I went around the world to gain experience in winemaking, I was in France. And in America I met Jean Leon (Jean Leon) - once he worked as a waiter in Frank Sinatra's Hollywood establishment, served wine to Marilyn Monroe herself and always dreamed of his own winery.


Then he got rich, and he succeeded - he started making wine. When Jean Leon got cancer, he asked me to buy his winery. And after Jean died, I did - we were very close friends."


Jean Leon actually went by the name Ángel Ceferino Carrión (Ángel Ceferino Carrión). He was born in Santander in 1928. It is written that he had a "restless and adventurous character". (I would add: it is such a character that often leads to success).


12. Jean Leon winery


Jean Leon's winery in Catalonia began operations in 1963. The 1969 vintage was such a success that President Ronald Reagan chose Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva for his inaugural reception in 1981.


Fun fact: Torres wines from Jean Leon vineyards still bear the names that Jean Leon coined. For example, "3055 Jean Leon, Merlot-Petit Verdot." 3055 is Jean Leon's driving licence number when he was a taxi driver in New York.


In Moscow, one of the websites sells this wine for 1733 roubles per bottle. In a faraway Russian town in a hotel restaurant, I found it for 1,600 roubles.


..And the Jean Leon winery, of course, is also a must-see.


If you decide to visit the Torres winery, you can book a tour on the spot, without intermediaries.


Author of the article: Russian-Ukrainian journalist Grigory Pasko for FENIX.info.


 

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Casamiga Events is the best organizer of private winery tours in Spain, including events in Barcelona and on the Costa Brava: birthdays, anniversaries, surprises, weddings, and corporate parties. With the Casamiga Events team, your special day, holiday, or celebration will turn into an unforgettable event filled with exquisite Spanish wines! Visit now: luxurywineventspain.com


Do you want to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of authentic Spanish wine?   Or dream of arranging a unique celebration with an exciting tour of a Spanish winery? With Casamiga Events, your wishes will become a vibrant reality!   Casamiga Events is the best organizer of private winery tours in Spain, including events in Barcelona and on the Costa Brava: birthdays, anniversaries, surprises, weddings, and corporate parties. With the Casamiga Events team, your special day, holiday, or celebration will turn into an unforgettable event filled with exquisite Spanish wines!


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