Winemaker: Victoria Torres Pecis
Region: Fuencaliente, La Palma, Canary Islands
Grapes: 85% Listan Blanco, 15% Gual + Sabro + Malvasia + Vijariego
Sulphur: 10mg/L added
Suitable for vegans: Yes
Total Area Farmed: 4.5 hectares
Soils: Volcanic rock (basalt) and volcanic ash in topsoil
Age of vines: 100+ years average, ungrafted
Viticulture: Organic (noncertified)
Vineyards: The grapes for Pieles all came from one plot in the South of the Island, called ‘Los Quemados.’ Here the vineyards are surrounded by deep forests, and the vines are planted on ‘picon,’ or black volcanic ash soils. The vineyard is dominant in Listan Blanco but also features the very rare local varieties Gual and Sabro, among a few others.
Vinification: The grapes were fermented on their full skins for 6-7 days in concrete vats. After pressing the wine was transferred to one old chestnut barrel to finish fermentation. It then remained on its lees for 10 months before bottling. Unfined, unfiltered.
Total production – 800 bottles.
Other: ‘Pieles’ means ‘skins’ in Spanish
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.