When wine is your destiny, and the winery your temple. Although in years past, it was more of a playground for young Jordi, who followed his grandfather everywhere as he moved confidently through the bustling Cooperativa de Solivella (Conca de Barberà) in the village where Jordi was born. As one would expect, Jordi Foraster's earliest memories are of vineyards and family:
"I remember the first time I harvested grapes with my family, I had a pair of scissors, the kind used for arts and crafts in school, to cut the grapes. I don't think I was of much help that day, but one could call it my initiation to the world of wine and winegrowing."
Jordi grew up working the vineyards and making a move from winegrowing to winemaking wasn't something he had ever contemplated. But then he met an enologist who, like those inspired teachers who shape our lives, introduced him to a whole new world of possibilities.
“My life changed when I met the enologist who oversaw the technical winemaking process at the cooperative. In the village, he was known as ‘the chemist.’ [He laughs.] I had spent my whole life helping my family with various vineyard tasks throughout the year, but I wasn't familiar with the winemaking process. Suddenly, I got the feeling that what this enologist did gave meaning to all of the work we did in the vineyard, and that's when I knew what I really wanted to do. To complete the circle.”
Jordi Foraster, with the view from the Familia Torres Priorat (El Lloar, DOQ Priorat) winery in the background
These days, Jordi is a winemaker through and through, and he has a deep understanding of the history of Priorat wines. He knows that the region's long winegrowing tradition provides the foundation for a new wave in winemaking that is bringing about expressive and identity-driven wines:
“The winegrowing history of Priorat goes back thousands of years, and the style of wine has changed over the centuries. But if we look at the recent history, from the early 20th century on, the region has been known for red wines that are appreciated for their intensity of color and very full-bodied and robust character. This made for very age-worthy wines.”
“At this time, I'm looking to capture this winemaking legacy in my wines, to maintain their personality and sense of place while giving them greater balance for a more contemporary, elegant, and fresh style.”
For those who enjoy the end result, winemaking is an invisible effort; a process steeped in emotions that transforms winemaking into a form of creative expression. For Jordi, a great wine is “something like a work of art, where you think about how you can evoke certain emotions and sensations in the person who drinks it.”
Jordi Foraster in the barrel hall of the Familia Torres Priorat (El Lloar, DOQ Priorat) winery
Well versed in the idiosyncrasies and dynamics of the Priorat wine sector, Jordi has clearly identified the intangible qualities that highlight the importance of the relationship between Familia Torres and the Priorat appellation of origin.
Jordi is delighted to take on the role and responsibility of a Familia Torres standard bearer. “On a personal level, it is an honor and an enormous responsibility to manage Familia Torres's Priorat winery. Our goal is to produce wines that express the full potential of the vineyard, vintage after vintage”, referring to the heroic project of Mas de la Rosa and the historical heritage that lives in the El Lloar winery, which makes unique wines such as Salmos or Perpetual.
Jordi's creative spirit finds clear expression in the harvest metaphor that underlies his way of thinking:
“Harvesting is like writing a script, knowing that no matter how detailed you make it, much of it will have to be improvised. Winemakers reveal their skills in how they manage this improvisation.”
Jordi Foraster in the renovated tasting room of the Familia Torres Priorat (DOQ Priorat) winery
Jordi has no doubts about what constitutes his wine moment: “The formula for something idyllic requires four essential elements... a person you love, a charming place, a reason to celebrate, and a good wine to celebrate it with.”
We'll drink to that, Jordi.