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Meet Vicente Penalba of Finca Torremilanos

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vicente Penalba. 

Hi Vicente, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My name is Vicente Peñalba, I was born in Aranda de Duero, Burgos in Spain, and lived most of my live there with my family. I studied Agricultural Engineering in Madrid Polytechnique University. Growing up, my life has always been intertwined with the wine world since both my parents worked in our winery, Finca Torremilanos. My father Pablo Peñalba (who died in 2007) was one of the visionaries that helped create the popular Denominacion de Origen or Spanish wine region of Ribera del Duero in 1982. Currently, my mother Pilar Pérez de Albeniz is the CEO of the winery. 

Finca Torremilanos is a family winery founded in 1903 in Aranda de Duero, Burgos. We own 420 acres of vineyards that we farm under organic and biodynamic practices. Our winery is located in the same property where most of our vineyards are and we also have a small boutique hotel open to visitors for most of the year. One interesting fact is that we still cooper our own barrels in the winery. 

I arrived with my wife and son to Tampa in September 2018. I moved from Spain to Florida to develop the distribution of our family wines. First, I landed in Miami where I met my wife, and after we decided to move to Tampa because she was a post-doctoral scholar at University of South Florida. Since then, the city of Tampa has become my base to travel around different cities and states in the U.S. to work with our importers and distributors. At this moment, we sell our wines in 22 different states around the country. I also do international travels throughout the year in order to work with our importers in other countries such as in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

My family and I love living in Tampa and have made many good friends. We enjoy the style of the city and its neighbor cities of Clearwater and St Pete. We love seeing our son happy with his school and the friends he has made here. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
One of the challenges that I encounter is that it is not easy to find importers and distributors when you are representing a small family winery in such a big wine market like the U.S. where big companies control most of the imports and distributions of wine. For example, many times when I reach out to companies, they do not answer my emails. Also, if you are working with small importers and distributors in a given state some retailers and restaurants are not willing to work with you because they just want to work with the ¨big guys¨. So, I´ve learned that you have to be patient! 

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Finca Torremilanos?
Finca Torremilanos is a family winery founded in 1903 in Aranda de Duero, Burgos in Spain. We are one of the founding wineries of Ribera del Duero region. We own 420 acres of vineyards that we use to produce all of our wines. We farm our vineyards with organic and biodynamic practices, that is why all of our wines have organic and biodynamic certifications. We are one of the few wineries left that coopers their own barrels in the estate. If you visit Spain and want to learn more about Ribera del Duero, you are welcome to come visit us and stay with us in Torremilanos. 

Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
Spending time running around the winery and through the vineyards. Discovering rivers, lakes, and forests nearby Torremilanos. Being in contact with nature. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Katherine Pulsonetti
Paco Santamaria

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