Marimar Torres expands and experiments

  • Monday 11 December 2000

Sonoma winemaker Marimar Torres has acquired a 73 hectare (ha) property seven miles from the Pacific Ocean.

Named Dona Margarita after Torres' mother, the rugged vineyard has around 24 plantable hectares, though just 8ha will be planted. Located between Freestone and Occidental in California's Sonoma County, it is thought to be perfect for the cultivation of Pinot Noir.

'After studying the different soils and microclimates of the entire site, we've determined that eight hectares of the property - a long band of gently sloping land - have the unique combination of sandstone and Goldridge soil that is ideal for Pinot Noir,' says Torres, who plans to use the remaining land for an equestrian centre.

At the same time, Torres - sister of Miguel Torres, head of Penedes-based Torres estate, one of Spain's best-known producers - has been experimenting with a new winemaking technique, and will release 231 cases of the 1998 Chardonnay Dobles Lias in February 2001.

Bottled in August, this wine has been aged for 20 months (as opposed to the usual 10) on lees from the wine itself, plus the lees from other selected barrels of Chardonnay from the same vintage; it has not undergone filtration. The wine will probably retail at around US$50 (£33) per bottle, though a price has yet to be fixed.

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