Mireia Torres Maczassek

Mireia Torres Maczassek

Torres Priorat (Director of Winemaking)

She seamlessly blends the artistic with the scientific and the modern with the medieval.

Winemaking was likely an inevitable career path for Mireia Torres Maczassek. She was born in Barcelona in 1969 and grew up in a family in which nature was salient — as an inspiration for her mother’s art and as a necessity for her father’s vineyards. Her mother is a well-recognized painter, and her father, who initially studied chemical sciences in Barcelona and ultimately specialized in oenology and viticulture at the University of Dijon, is a well-known winemaker.

Mireia attended the Institut Químic de Sarrià in Barcelona and graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1994, specializing in Analysis. She moved to France the next year to study oenology and viticulture at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure Agronomique de Montpellier. A few years later, after working for a chemical manufacturer of resins and flocculants, she decided to join the family company, where she thought she could better develop her scientific interests.

She led the analysis laboratory for the company for one year and then was asked to head up its Research & Development (R&D) and innovation areas. In 2004, she became Head of Winemaking of the company, and over the next six-year period led many successful projects in the areas of winemaking and viticulture, including the development of Torres Priorat, which had its first vinification in 2005 and moved to its own winery in 2008.

Mireia, who holds the title of Director of both Bodegas Jean Leon in Penedès and Torres Priorat, is an impressive winemaker and research scientist.

Our discussions about Mireia’s career path took place over lunch at Mas Rabell, the historic Catalan country house that has been in her family for many years. The food was wonderful, of course, and the pairings with the Torres Priorat and Jean Leon wines excellent. What we most learned, having already read a great deal about the Torres family, was how likeable Mireia is! We talked about her wonderful children, her interest in psychology, and the goal we all have to live an authentic life. And naturally, we discussed wine.

The Wines. Torres Priorat and the Priorat wine region have a very special meaning for Mireia. She spoke quite poetically about the magic of the region, which we clearly understood when we visited Torres Priorat a few days later. It is located in the small village of El Lloar, which has a population of fewer than 200. We were simply amazed by what Mireia was able to create there, where she led the development and implementation of the project. It is a state-of-the-art winery that seamlessly blends the artistic with the scientific and the modern with the medieval. Its solar panels provide a high percentage of the energy required for the facility.

Mireia crafts two well-known and consistently highly rated Priorat wines — Torres Salmos and Torres Perpetual. The Torres Salmos is in homage to the monks of the Carthusian order who cultivated vines in the Priorat as early as 1095. The Torres Perpetual, a flagship wine for the Priorat winery, reflects the family’s commitment to this important wine area. A bottle of each, the 2012 Salmos and the 2012 Perpetual, made the trip back to California with us!