Eva Plazas Torné

Eva Plazas Torné

Vilarnau (Enóloga/Winemaker)

Eva Plazas Torné was born in Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, just as Franco’s repressive regime was coming to an end. She feels fortunate to have had the choices not available to women born during that period.

Growing up, she was introduced to the world of grapes and wine. Her grandfather had vineyards, and her father worked for wineries. Although Eva “liked what she saw,” she was not sure she wanted to become a winemaker.

She attended the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, where she studied agricultural engineering, and while in school worked with tourists interested in viticulture. This experience led to her enrolling in the Erasmus European Union Exchange Program in 1994 to study in Germany. While there, Eva not only learned German but also completed the final academic project, which fittingly was about corks, required for her degree. For the next two years, she studied viticulture and enology and earned her Màster de Viticultura i Enologia degree. In 1996, she began working with Vilarnau in a practicum role, and she has remained with Vilarnau ever since. Eva describes this longevity “as being in the right place at the right time.”

A few years earlier, Vilarnau had become a part of the Gonzalez Byass family of wineries, and there were plans to build a new winery. Eva and the Vilarnau technical team were asked to work on the project. Eva and other members of the technical team have had a central role over the years in the design and construction of the new facility, crafting its sparkling wines, and managing the 20-hectare Cava estate. Eva’s background in agricultural engineering was well matched to the company’s focus on sustainability and respect for the terroir and the environment. Eva now holds the title of Enóloga.

Eva is very knowledgeable about all aspects of the winery and is understandably proud of her accomplishments at Vilarnau. In addition, she feels she had been able to establish a good balance between her career and her family. She and her husband have two children and live in the Sant Sadurní d’Anoia area, close to their own parents.

The Wines. Vilarnau produces only Cava. We tasted several wonderful examples, including the Reserva 2012 Brut Reserva (a best value according to Eric Asimov in 2014) and Albert de Vilarnau Gran Reserva, its most exclusive Cava. Eva also makes a very special Cava from 100% indigenous variety Xarel.lo, 25% fermented in chestnut barrels that come from the Montseny forest in the Barcelona province. We brought home a lovely bottle of 2010 Vilarnau Gran Reserva Penedès.