As soon as he could walk, Arnau Travé was planting grapevines with his grandfather, Joan. The picking basket was his cradle, which made his career as a winegrower almost inevitable. Arnau brings prestige, care, and experience to the Fransola vineyard in the subzone of Alts d'Ancosa (Alt Penedès).
Family and winegrowing are inextricably linked in Arnau's memories. For the Travé family, these are two inseparable elements. Life and winegrowing are one and the same. “I was fascinated by the activity at our family vineyard during the harvest months: harvesters, tractors, baskets full of grapes...I wanted to be everywhere at once. I'm not sure if I was much help, I probably just got in everyone’s way!”
Even though he had a good grasp of all vineyard tasks at a young age, his father and brother handled those, which is why he developed a certain flair for veterinary science. “I decided to become a veterinarian, but ended up doing what I always wanted to do, which is work the land.”
Arnau checks the condition of the vines in the Fransola vineyard (DO Penedès), a Familia Torres property
“At home, the vineyard was a constant presence. I can't recall a single day that we didn't talk about it.”
We turned to Arnau's intrinsic knowledge to learn about the characteristics of Fransola and how they impact the day-to-day management of the vineyard.
“The vineyards lie in a valley, in a mountainous area of central Catalonia (county of Anoia), which delimits the northern border of the Penedès appellation of origin. The area has calcareous and clay soils; the winters are cold and the summers hot, and the shift between daytime and night-time temperatures is significant, which means the grapes develop a good aromatic profile. These conditions are very well suited to white varieties like Sauvignon blanc or Forcada (a revived ancestral variety), which we grow here.”
It is worth mentioning that this isn't an easy area for winegrowing. Vineyards may experience springtime frost or summer hailstorms which can occasionally lead to partial crop losses. “This is a constant challenge for us,” says Arnau, “It affects the way we manage the vineyard to prepare for any potential surprises and not be caught off-guard.”
Huelga decir que, en esta zona, la viticultura no es sencilla. Expuestas a heladas tardías y granizadas de verano, las vides sufren y, a veces, se dan pérdidas parciales de cosecha. “Esto no deja de ser un reto para nosotros; nos afecta en el modo de gestionar la viña para intentar minimizar estos posibles contrapiés”, señala Arnau.
Arnau surrounded by the beautiful Fransola vineyard (DO Penedès), a Familia Torres property
“I'm from here, so Familia Torres's commitment to preserving and bringing value to this region fills me with pride and motivates me to keep going and always do more.”
“Being in touch with nature, being part of a place and contributing to its care and prestige, is something I find very fulfilling.” When we were talking to Arnau, the harvest had just begun. “This is a moment when everything comes together: hard work, anxiety, excitement, and the anticipation of seeing the fruit of an entire year's work. The days are very long, sometimes the days become nights, and you're always alert.”
Arnau grants us some secret insights into his personal taste in wine: “I like intense aromas, freshness, and lightness in a wine. Showing respect for the land, and for the people who work there, is something I value a lot. Family, friends, and the right food are always the best allies in creating a perfect wine moment.”
We second Arnau's commitment and passion for our land. This is what connects family and region, winegrowing and a way of life. He is one of us.