Sunday, April 6, 2008

Torres Family Estates

My vineyard class visited the Torres Family Estates in Sebastopol this week.

This estate was founded by Marimar Torres, whose family has been rowing and making wine in Spain for over 300 years. She wanted to grow and make her own wine, but couldn't because of the patriarchal system in Spain. So her family sent her here to study oenology at Davis, and afterwards she started up her own winery here.

Her 65 acres of vines here are planted, starting in 1986, on varying slope surrounding the winery. The estate has been practicing organic viticulture since 2000 and was certified in 2006. They also farm one block biodynamically.

All the vines here were originally trained with bilateral cordons. Now they are converting to cane pruning. Above is an example of a bilaterally cordoned vine now trained for cane pruning.

In the above photo, we see that they have turned under their cover crop for frost protection. Bare soil radiates more heat at night, and there are no leaf blades to attract frost formation.

A lovely rolling hill of still-cordoned vines. At present about 30% of their vines remain on cordons.

Cellar master Tony Britton is a fun guy, I just caught him deep in thought!
Afterwards Tony treated us to a tasting of their wonderful Chardonnays and Pinots. Thanks Tony!

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