Familia Torres shows its commitment to innovation at Barcelona Wine Week

06 February 2024


Familia Torres demonstratres its innovative capacity at the Barcelona Wine Week with a wine tasting featuring wines vinified and aged in vessels of various shapes and materials, such as amphorae, clay vessels, granite eggs or concrete tanks made with soil from the vineyard where the wine originates. In line with the exhibition's theme 'Vessels for winemaking and ageing: reclaiming to innovate', the family winery has selected seven wines, some of which are unreleased, to exemplify its innate commitment to innovation and how it is implemented across the different regions where it operates.

Mireia Torres, Director of Innovation and Knowledge at Familia Torres, along with sommelier Sergi Castro, have guided attendees through a journey across four denominations of origin, starting in Penedès, moving through Rias Baixas and Ribera del Duero, and returning to Catalonia to conclude in Costers del Segre.

The tasting began with two wines from Jean Leon winery, managed by Mireia Torres, both from the 2022 vintage and made with the ancestral recovered Forcada variety, a long-cycle white grape that stands out for its pronounced acidity and adaptability to climate change. The first, a still wine, the experimental FO-22 that the winery launched last year, was compared with a second sparkling wine, which has been aged in the bottle for 9 months after undergoing a second fermentation in the same bottle according to the traditional method. "This is a trial we wanted to conduct with oenologist Montse Escoté to explore the potential of this variety in long-aged sparkling wines, as it has an impressive acidity, and the outcome is very promising," said Mireia Torres.

At Pazo Torre Penelas in Rias Baixas, Familia Torres has innovated with the region’s typical soils in mind. Thus, in 2018, they incorporated ovoid granite tanks for the fermentation and ageing of Albariño wines; the result was Blanco Granito, crafted by winemaker Víctor Cortizo and considered the first Spanish wine vinified and aged in this type of vessel, which enhance the aromas and transfer the rock’s minerality and salinity to the wine. The wine tasted, from the 2020 vintage, has remained in these tanks for 8 months in contact with its lees and is intensely fresh and aromatic with saline notes.

At Pago del Cielo winery in Ribera del Duero, winemaker Juan Ramon García is also experimenting with different types of vessels for ageing wines. The tasting featured two unreleased wines from this region. The first was a sample of Tinto Fino from an old vineyard with calcareous soils, from the 2022 vintage, which underwent fermentation and 15 months of ageing in a 1,600-litre clay pot. This type of vessel enhances the varietal character and fruit presence. This wine will eventually be part of the future icon wine Pago del Cielo, which attendees have been able to taste from the 2019 vintage. This wine has been aged for 15 months in new French oak barrels and will be released in the coming months after fine-tuning in the bottle. "This is a new expression of Ribera wines: it is a complex wine with good concentration, interesting tannins, and a very well-integrated wood that does not interfere with the character of the Tinto Fino", highlighted Mireia Torres.

The last two wines, from Purgatori winery in Costers del Segre, managed by winemaker David Barriche, served to compare ageing in oak barrels with ageing in concrete tanks that have been partially constructed with soil from the vineyard itself. The samples tasted were a blend of the ancestral Gonfaus and Garnacha varieties, from the 2023 vintage, made in the same way but aged for 4 months in different materials. "The wine aged in concrete tanks stands out for its fruit, purity and voluptuousness; on the other hand, the one that has been aged in oak barrels shows a slightly higher acidity, greater aromatic complexity, more concentration, and structure. They are wines that complement each other very well," noted Mireia Torres.