Recently I had the privilege of meeting the lovely Marimar Torres over lunch, hosted by La Vinoteca Barcelona. On meeting Marimar you immediately sensed her warm and welcoming nature, quickly putting you at ease. It’s not every day you meet the real personality behind the wines, as Marimar Torres is founder and proprietor of Marimar Estate Vineyards and Winery in California. With wine there’s history and throughout the course of the afternoon we got to know a little more about Marimar Torres, whose family have produced Spanish wines as far back as the 17th century.
Born in Barcelona and growing up in a male-dominated industry of wine producers, Marimar was an ambassador for the Torres wines of Spain in America, before carving out her path to produce her own wines. Moving from her Spanish hometown Barcelona to California, Marimar planted the first vines in 1986. Choosing the Russian River Valley’s perfect climate and rich soils for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Marimar also reiterated how she could not have achieved this without the guidance of her family and the vineyards carry the names of her father and mother. All the wines are produced from estate-grown grapes and the Don Miguel vineyard and Dona Margarita vineyard are both certified organic.
Wine loves the company of good food and executive Chef Juan Gomez prepared a delicious lunch, pairing each course with the Mariamr Estate wines. With mindful tasting, Marimar guided us through the characteristics and personality of each wine and below I have given a general summary. Marinated Salmon with Olive Oil Caviar with a light salad of Seasonal Greens and Black Olive Biscuits. Paired with the Marimar Estate – Acero Chardonnay.
“Acero” means steel in Spanish and this wine is fermented in stainless steel with no oak involved, keeping the purity of the fruit. This wine is fruit intense with floral notes. Crisp and fresh with a clean finish. Sea Bass in a transparent Papillote with Fresh Vegetables and “El Silencio” olive oil sauce. Paired with the Marimar Estate – La Masia Chardonnay.
The word “La Masia“ means farmhouse in Spanish and represents Marimars Catalan designed winery in California. Creamy and lush, with subtle aromas of floral and citrus fruits. Some tropical notes, with the oak contributing to some rich notes of caramel. Seared Tuna served with Romesco sauce with fresh Green Peas from LLavaneras. Paired with the Marimar Estate – La Masia Pinot Noir.
Deep and intense with fruits of wild berries, ending with some spicy notes. Shoulder of Lamb slow roasted for seven hours. Served with Rosemary Potatoes and Roasted Mediterranean Tomatoes. Paired with the Marimar Estate – Cristina Pinot Nori.
“Cristina” is the name of Marimars daughter and this Pinot Noir is a blend of the best barrels of wine sourced from the Don Miguel Vineyard. Deep and rich with silky tannins. Intense aromas of blackberries, raspberries and spice. A wine suitable for aging. Ending the meal on a sweet note, Dark Chocolate Ganache with Olive Oil and Sea Salt. Although I really enjoyed each wine for their own characteristics, my personal favorites were the Acero Chardonnay and the Cristina Pinot Noir.
Over coffee guests had a “virtual tour” of the Torres family vineyards and below, a photograph of the beautiful Marimar Estate “traditional Catalan ” farmhouse in California. We also came to know that Marimar loves to cook and has written two cookbooks on Spanish cuisine, The Catalan Country Kitchen and The Spanish Table. I am happy to have a signed copy of Marimar’s Catalan Country Kitchen and will enjoy trying out some new recipes. A lovely reminder of an insightful and enjoyable afternoon at La Vinoteca Barcelona. Disclaimer: Invited as a guest to the La Vinoteca Barcelona event. Images of wine labels and the Marimar Estate Farmhouse in California are from the Mariamr Estate photo library.