Torres Alegre: Knowledge and Love Nurture These Wines in the Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada

Torres-Alegre: Knowledge and Love Nurture These Wines in the Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada
by Carla White

 Valle de Guadalupe, Ensenada, Baja California — Far off the beaten path, on the road that runs behind Adobe Guadalupe Vineyards and Inn, there is a vineyard (seven hectares of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Grenache and Nebbiolo) and a very new winery…sort of a modern-day, high-tech palace where wine is king, and where winemakers serve its noble cause.  The symbol of the winery is, indeed, a Spanish-looking castle, but in reality the name of the operation – Vinicola Torres-Alegre y Familia — reflects the passion and dedication of Dr. Victor Torres-Alegre, one of the most important wine makers in Mexico.

 

Torres Alegre

Dr.  Torres-Alegre, the first enologist in Mexico to have a PhD in the science of enology,  graduated in agricultural engineering from the National Agricultural School of Chapingo, Mexico.  He received his doctorate in enology from the University of Bordeaux, France, and in that period formulated innovative concepts and practices for winemaking that have become accepted throughout the industry.  He and his family, including his wife Julieta and his winemaker-son Leonardo, who manages the winery on a day-to-day basis, have established the new winery (which is partially below ground level and required massive earth-moving to create its cava) incorporating these precepts.  The resulting wines — barreled in new or one-use oak – reflect the high quality and standards of the Torres-Alegre family.

Leonardo Torres, himself an accomplished winemaker, will by appointment, guide small groups through the winery to see the seven stainless steel, conical fermentation tanks and the grape crushers.  He explains the various processes, including the gravity filtration system and the winemakers’ desire to “let nature and natural phenomena” take their course in wine production. He expresses the family’s deep desire to promote sustainability in all aspects of their work…even pointing to the bricks that comprise the very walls of the wine cavern:  these bricks were created from the earth that was removed for the building of the winery.

 

From tour to tasting room, Leonardo tells the story of  Torres-Alegre, imbuing it with love and laughter and interesting family trivia.  For instance, the wine labels have been designed by Victor, himself, who is also a graphic designer.  These same labels tell stories, written by his sister who lives in Spain.  And, another tidbit…the Torres-Alegre Sauvignon Blanc (crisp but with a soft after-feel) has been aged 11 years in oak.  The Del Viko blend (named after his brother) combines Grenache, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.  The Cru Garage, of which 2,000 bottles are made annually, indeed had its beginnings in a garage. And so on…

The Torres-Alegre family winery is really the legacy of Dr. Torres-Alegre’s 30+ years of history of winemaking…and perhaps more than any other vinicola, it reflects the fact that  Mexico is finding its place in the royal family of world wines.

For more information or to visit the beautiful Torres-Alegre winery, email contacto@torresalegre.com…and mention that you read about them on Baja.com!

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