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Familia Torres Wine Dinner Continues Celebration Of Columbia’s 115th Anniversary

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020 | 7 p.m. | $175 per person, all inclusive (limited capacity)

Columbia Restaurant, Historic Ybor City, Tampa

Email [email protected] to reserve your place, or call 813.248.4961.

Mark your calendar for a special 115th anniversary event at Columbia Ybor: Our Familia Torres dinner featuring five courses and seven wines. This is the next in a series of anniversary events featuring distinguished wine makers and distillers.

Miguel Y Mireia Torres Maczassek, the 5th generation of Familia Torres, will attend from Spain to host the dinner, along with Andrea Gonzmart Williams and me, 5th and 4th generations of the Columbia Restaurant.

This is the winery that created my appreciation for wine and launched what became our extensive Spanish wine list.

As Richard Gonzmart remembers:

“The Torres family, Miguel Torres Carbó 3rd and Miguel Agustín Torres Riera, 4th generation, hosted Melanie and me for two weeks when we celebrated our honeymoon in late September 1973.
“Along with my brother Casey, we visited once again when I finished my schooling in Madrid in May. After sampling all the wines with Miguel Sr, Miguel Torres Cabo Jr. and his sister Marimar Torres Cabo, there were two wines I knew we had to have at the Columbia: Gran Coronas Black Label and Gran Vina Sol Green Label, now known as Mas La Plana and Fransola, respectively.
“But to get 10 cases, I had to order 1,200 cases, which I brashly ordered for what at the time was only two Columbia Restaurants – Ybor City and Sarasota. There wasn’t even an importer or distributor of their wines in Florida back then, so we had to work that out. Grantham Distributors agreed to import the 1,200 cases in one day.
“In my glory, I called my father to share what I thought was good news. He was not too thrilled since we then only listed about 30 bottles of wine, mostly from France, Italy, some Portuguese and about eight Spanish wines.
“Fortunately, we sold the entire order in about eight months and ordered a second container. The rest is history: We created one of the largest collections of the great wines of Spain.”

Since its founding in 1870, Familia Torres has combined tradition and innovation with the aim of making premium wine and brandy, always with the utmost respect for the environment. Familia Torres’ roots in Penedès, near Barcelona, go back more than three centuries.

The commitment to protect the land and environment, the pursuit of excellence and a passion for wine culture has been passed down from generation to generation. Fourth generation family member Miguel A. Torres pioneered the planting of Cabernet Sauvignon in Spain, creating Mas La Plana in 1970. For the fifth generation, the focus is on making wines from unique vineyards and recovering ancestral varieties in Catalonia, as well as in other parts of Spain and Chile.

During the Feb. 18 Columbia Ybor event, we will serve:

  • Viña Esmeralda Rosé
  • Torres Fransola 2017
  • Torres Milmanda 2015
  • Mas La Plana 2007 (RG’s favorite Spanish red wine )
  • Mas La Plana 2011
  • Viña Real Reserva 2015 (The special wine of the King of Spain)
  • Gran Murrales 2009 (featuring indigenous grape varietals once believed to be extinct, such as Garró and Querol)
“The more we take care of the earth and the environment. The more we take care of ourselves. We have the responsibility to share, in particular with those groups most in need. Cooperating for development and promoting a good education in childhood can contribute to making a better world tomorrow.” FAMILIA TORRES