Torstenson Consulting is the legal entity through which Mr. Lars Torstenson markets his services as a wine consultant and wine maker. With 30 years of experience of making and marketing wine, Mr. Torstenson has made it his specialty to advice and assist wine producers all over the world.
Born in the Swedish city of Hjo, Torstenson’s career within the wine industry began in 1987 when he joined the Swedish wine company Vin&Sprit at their headquarters in Stockholm. His job at this time consisted of participating in the company’s tasting panel and gathering facts about the wines bought and sold by Vin&Sprit. In 1988, having been trained by some of the foremost wine producers of the world, Torstenson was placed in charge of Domaine Rabiega, Vin&Sprit’s vineyard, training center and conference facility in the South of France.
Working as manager and chief winemaker, Torstenson repositioned the production of Domaine Rabiega, modernizing the production processes in order to increase quality and shifting the focus from low-budget rosé wines to high-quality red wines. These efforts met with considerable success: between 1988 and 2005, Domaine Rabiega won over 200 medals and awards, including the 3rd place in Olympiade du Vin Syrah (GaultMillau) for the vineyard’s top wine, Clos Dière Cuvée I. Furthermore, Torstenson personally was awarded the prestigious Vigneron de l’année award by Gault Milleau and the Winemaker of the Year award by Gourmet.
In 1995, Torstenson expanded Rabiega’s business by launching Rabiega Negociant, a wine negotiant company which bought, processed and blended wines which it then sold under its own name to a dozen countries around the world. Apart from designing the products, Torstenson was responsible for setting the commercial and brand marketing strategies of the company to support sales.
While working at Domaine Rabiega, Torstenson also managed the vineyard and winemaking of the nearby Château d’Esclans and worked as an internal consultant for Vin&Sprit’s wine unit in Falkenberg, Sweden. In 1997 he also took the position of managing director of Amfora Vinhus, a division of Vin&Sprit working with its own brands. During his time at Amfora, Torstenson adjusted the company’s commercial strategy and developed the foundations of its brand marketing efforts.
In 2001, Torstenson began working part-time as an international consultant winemaker. This, together with his cooperation with Swedish wine import company Terrific Wines, became his main occupation starting from 2005. As a flying winemaker, Torstenson specializes in assisting wine producers all over the world with the production and the marketing of their products. More specifically, this includes vineyard management, production planning, harvest and vinification, blending and portfolio strategies and brand building. To date, Torstenson’s consulting work has taken him to countries as far-between and diverse as France, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Spain, Argentina and the USA, where he has worked with companies and vineyards such as Hedges Family Estate, Abdyika, Château L’ Arnaude, Bodega Miguel Merino, among others.
Mr. Torstenson has been a judge in various wine competitions since 1989. Examples include the Challenge International in Bordeaux, the Michelangelo Awards in South Africa, the Challenge Millésime Bio in Montpellier and FestiWine in Dubrovnik. He was also a member of the jury testing wines for the AOC Côtes-de-Provence approval from 1989 to 2000 and represented Sweden in the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV) between 1991 and 1994.
Mr. Torstenson is regularly hired to give lectures and to hold courses. Among those who have solicited his services are companies and organizations such as Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU, Alnarp), the Swedish alcohol imports and distribution monopoly Systembolaget and various sommelier education programs from Sweden and France mainly.
Having studied and worked as a journalist before entering the world of wine, Mr. Torstenson still writes articles and books on the topic of wine. His first wine book (“Vinmakning”) appeared in 1991 and has since been followed by several others published in Sweden and Denmark.