Winemaker: Victoria Torres Pecis
Region: Fuencaliente, La Palma, Canary Islands
Grapes: 100% Malvasia
Residual Sugar: 100+ g/L
Sulphur: 31mg/L (total)
Suitable for vegans: Yes
Total Area Farmed: 4.5 hectares
Soils: sandy volcanic, Lapilli (black ash)
Age of vines: 120+ years average, ungrafted
Viticulture: Organic (noncertified)
Vineyards: The Malvasia grapes come from the Llanos Negros region of the island along the Southwest coast. The vineyards sit on deep, black volcanic ash with vines that are trained low to the ground. Most of Viki’s plots ripen around the same time here. In this case she does a late harvest in October of about 40-50% raisined grapes, and a small % of botrytis (sometimes) though not every year. Viki does not measure sugar prior to harvest, but rather bases it on taste and the appearance of the grapes.
Vinification: Partial destemming, goes in 130-yr old canarian pine (Tea) ’lagar’ for a couple of days so the raisins rehydrate with must until the fermentation starts. The wine is then pressed, and finishes fermentation in steel tanks (roughly 6-8 weeks before it stops naturally). The wine is then racked and stays on its fine lees in steel tanks. Bottled before next harvest. Only made when vintage allows.
Total production = 3000 bottles in 2011/ 2012, 1000 bottles in 2013, and then none until 2017.
Other: This is one of the most traditional wines of La Palma, though Viki is one of maybe 4 producers still maintaining this tradition.
VICTORIA TORRES PECIS
Formerly called ‘Matias i Torres,’ the bodega run by Victoria Torres recently had to change its name due to unfortunate litigation with the estate of Miguel Torres. Not one to let legal events deter her from her craft, she currently bottles with no ‘name’ but rather states that the wines are bottled by ‘Victoria Torres Pecis.’
Viki is not your typical vigneron. Taking over the family estate as the fifth generation was never part of her plans when she left her native island of La Palma in her early teens to relocate to Tenerife where she finished her studies and pursued a career in art. It was only upon returning to the Island in her early 30’s that she truly started to feel a pull into the world of wine, but especially a pull into the energy and work of her father, whose deteriorating health eventually meant she had to take over all aspects of farming and winemaking in 2015.
Viki is the first woman in the history of her family bodega to take over (founded in 1885), and she is also the first to focus entirely on wine, as opposed to also running various banana plantations. Having never studied enology or spent time working for any other winemakers, she is purely guided by instinct and intuition. Whilst she has had little experience or exposure to the international wine scene, her knowledge of the local soils, grapes, and wines is vast.
She is a firm believer in soil health and organic viticulture as well as minimal intervention methods in the cellar, and is guiding light for winemaking on the island of La Palma. She is pretty much the only winemaker that is currently exported, and only about 2% of her production remains on the island.
More than anything, her wines absolutely scream of where they come from. In tasting through her line-up one receives an education into volcanic soils and island topography, altitude contrasts, salty winds, and local grape varieties, as well as a peek into her deep passion for her craft.