Marimar Torres grew up in the wine business. Her family’s wine-growing roots date back to the 17th century in the Catalonia region of Spain. Born in 1945 in Barcelona, she was the export director for Torres Wines before starting her own Sonoma, California winery in 1975. The Russian River/Green Valley appellation is 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 50 miles north of San Francisco. The vineyard is unique in California because it is completely European in style.
At Marimar Estate Vineyards & Winery, Marimar manages the winery and two vineyards – Don Miguel (named after her late father) in the Russian River Valley AVA and Doña Margarita (named after her late mother) in the Sonoma Coast AVA. Her daughter, Christina, is the estate’s general manager and represents the fifth generation of the Torres family in the wine business.
The two vineyards cover 261 acres and the wines are made entirely from estate-grown grapes. The microclimate is cool, influenced by the nearby Pacific. Soils are sandy loam of volcanic origin and marine sediment. Planting density is 2000 vines per acre, four times more than is traditional in California. Yields are low and labor is intensive, but the vines live longer and produce grapes with greater concentration of flavors, more refined and elegant aromas, and better balance.
Wine from both vineyards is produced with minimal intervention. The three barrel rooms, with independent temperature and humidity controls, provide flexibility to experiment with various vinification techniques to best express the fruit’s character.
Respect for the environment is a priority at Marimar. The estate earned its sustainability certification in 2017. The entire winery is 100% solar-powered, waste is recycled, and compost is used to fertilize the vineyard. Cover crops provide an ideal habitat for beneficial insects, while also retaining moisture, and improving the health of the vineyards. Wildlife is abundant, as are redwood trees.