Interview with David Tofterup, Winemaker
A Love for Wine and a Passion for Winemaking
When David Tofterup, Winemaker for Bodegas Trenza was ask what he loves most about being a winemaker? With no hesitation he chuckled, "What´s not to love about it!? I love everything about making wine. For me, like most winemakers, it is not a job, it´s a hobby, it´s a lifestyle, but more than anything it is a really strong passion that drives you to new challenges” This is David´s story. We hope you enjoy getting to know more about him!
How it all Started: I was born in a country, Denmark, known more for wine consumption than wine production, however, my parents, were of the small few, who tried to make homemade “wine” in our basement. Their wine was not much of wine in the end, but as a child I got to see how much fun they had while making it. To this day, my family still laugh at the idea of them trying to make wine in a Danish basement, but what they did back then was plant an important seed within me. Moving to Spain, when I was 15 years old, really exposed me to wine culture. Spain, the wine, the food, the language, the people, the sunshine and the smiles. Our holidays were always spent in one Spanish wine region or another. This is when I knew what I wanted to do for living, it just took longer to get my father to agree.
My father thought it was best that I get educated in business, you see he was a banker, who then became a lawyer so to make him proud I headed off to Niels Brock Copenhagen Business College where I achieved a Business Degree 1995. I did this for him, but I knew that this was not the end for me because that fire for wine will still lite within me and it was something I just needed to explore. I had no idea where to go in Denmark to become a part of the “wine world” but I was led to Cellar Master Program, a vocational training program were I was given the opportunity to travel and work as an intern in a number of wineries around the World, including Mont Marcal (Penedes, Spain), Chateau Lestage-Simon (Haut-Medoc, France), Viña Tarapacá (Maipo Valley, Chile), Foley Estates and Lincourt Vineyard (Santa Ynez Valley, California). I loved every minute of every internship I knew that my dreams had become a reality!
What´s not to love!?
I love everything about making wine. I love seeing the very first sign of life in the vineyards. It is really amazing, the little green buds, springing to life on the vines, immediately brighten up the dull brown scenery. Seeing this never fails to gets me really excited thinking of the new harvest and they give me a surge of energy to set new challenges for myself. Later, when harvest is nearing, I really enjoy walking amongst the vines when they are in full bloom: checking on each cluster, watching them ripen on the vines, roaming the rows of vineyards, with a slight breeze in what is left of my hair, sampling and making my selection, it is all very calming and peaceful. Another fantastic moment with winemaking is when I have all my wine batches out in front of me; tasting and blending them, crafting what would be the best I wine can create for others to bring into their homes and enjoy. It is always a mental and sensorial experiment that is really satisfying when you have the ah-ha moment. As you can see, I can go on an on about making wine. Both friends and family would probable agree that I need to find a new hobby, but you know what I say to them, ”here, try a glass of this new wine I have made!”
Winemaker of the Year
There are many gratifying moments of being a winemaker: wine competitions where your wine receives a medal, excellent write-ups by esteemed wine journalist, a pleased consumer who contacts you and lets you know how much they have loved your wine, and even the surprise of seeing your wine being served in to the table next to you in a restaurant. All of these examples, create an unexplainable, crazy feelings of joy, relief, excitement, pride all at once. I am not sure I have to words to describe one of the greatest moments for me in my career, it was 2016, when UEC (Union Española de Catadores) awarded me the title as Spanish Winemaker of the Year, 2015 vintage. It was a complete surprise, totally unexpected I was filled with such an amazing feeling of joy. Amazing Then 2 years later, I was awarded the same title for the second time for the 2017 vintage! I was so ecstatic I can remember jumping around with my colleague. I felt so amazing and honored to be recognized for my work with Spanish wines by my peers. I think I walked around with a smile on my face for weeks. An unforgettable moment for me, one I will always be proud of.
Wine as a Lifestyle
Wine is often an instrumental part of life experiences. We drink wine when we are celebrating the good and the bad moments of life. Wine will be with you for those big moments where great emotional memories are being made, or with the everyday meals that unite family and friends. It should never be the focus of the moment, but it needs to be the subtle compliment that makes each moment more perfect. This is what I strive for with my wines. Being a winemaker is a never-ending journey of learning. There is always something new to learn in this constant evolving field, and like the wines we make, we need to continue evolving, it is a journey of a lifetime I greatly look forward to. I, founder of Bodegas Trenza am extremely enthusiastic to share my wine-story to as many people as are willing to listing. I, personally, cannot wait for consumers around the World to experience my style of wines and hope my wine will give them a taste of what I am all about.