AT A GLANCE:
Position: No 28
Name of wine estate: Familia Torres – Pacs del Penedès
Wine region: Penedès
Standout points: New minimalist bodega; location on the spectacular Carretera del Vi wine road
Winemaker: Mireia Torres
Wine style: Iconic Cabernet Sauvignon
A giant among wine names
Familia Torres stands in a rare class of wineries that combine centuries of history and commercial success on a formidable scale. Having planted flags in both the US and Chile, Torres’ most exciting recent development has been the new Javier Barba-designed minimalist winery, La Bodega Waltraud, in Pacs de Penedès. Take our word for it when we say that this is a visit without which no wine trip to Catalonia would be complete.
From vineyard to beach
If you’re driving around this part of Catalonia, you’re in luck. Pacs del Penedès is a stopping point on the first official Mediterranean Wine Road – the Carretera del Vi. The breathtaking 40km-long road route takes you on a journey along an old Roman road that joins the inland vineyards of no fewer than 13 wineries, finishing at the beaches of El Garraf. An app that provides information about the wineries and points of interest to be found along the route is available.
Value for money
The value for money on offer at La Bodega Waltraud is hard to beat. Sure, you could keep things simple here with your classic common-or-garden wine and cheese tastings or wine and Iberico ham tasting. But for just €18, you can personalise your experience with a tour from a wine educator or sommelier of the Torres Mas La Plana vineyard (which produces Torres’ top Cabernet Sauvignon of the same name) and a visit to the Waltraud Cellar, followed by a tasting of five wines exploring the different regions and denominacións de origen (DOs) in which Torres makes wine.
If you wish to delve a little deeper, more satisfying still may be the Vertical Tasting. Again hosted by a qualified wine educator, the tour begins with a visit and tasting at the prestigious Mas La Plana vineyard. The tour continues with a barrel tasting at the Waltraud Winery, followed by a vertical tasting of two of Torres’ most emblematic wines.