Though the Finca Torremilanos estate has been growing grapes since 1905, Pablo Peñalba López acquired the Finca Torremilanos estate in 1975 with 60 hectares of vines—this was seven years before Ribera del Duero was even recognized as an appellation. He immediately began producing estate-bottled wines of remarkable quality, moving away from the former practice of selling bulk grapes to the local cooperative. Pablo continued to develop and showcase the potential of the land across a wide range of soils and exposures. By the early 2000s, their eldest son, Ricardo, had stepped into his father’s role and began investigating organic and biodynamic farming methods, including returning to horse-plowing, hand picking, and native-yeast fermentation. In 2015 they became the first in the appellation to be Demeter certified. Since 1988 they have even produced their own barrels of French and American oak at their in-house cooperage. Finca Torremilanos currently has 195 hectares of vineyards and produces 14 wines across three appellations: nine wines in Ribera del Duero, three in Castilla y Leon, and two in Cava. The vineyards are located on the southern margin of the Douro River at an altitude of 800 to 900 meters. The vines grow in a range of soils—sand, rounded river stones, clay, limestone—and the parcels experience a number of different sun exposures, allowing Finca Torremilanos to produce an incredibly diverse portfolio of wines.
I had been selling the Finca Torremilanos wines for a couple of years as a distributor when they announced the winery was leaving their, then, national importer Grapes of Spain. They contacted me to see if Volio Imports would be interested in working with them in a couple of markets and I jumped at the opportunity. Vicente and his brother are the Kings of the region, promoting biodiversity and Biodynamics with Demeter certification across an enormous amount of land. It is a pleasure working with such a young, dynamic family.
Limestone, clay, sand