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Masters of Wine #17: Jonas Tofterup MW

Looking for insights into the wine industry's highest standards of professional knowledge? Join us for our weekly Masters of Wine interview series, featuring in-depth conversations with each Master of Wine. Meet Jonas, the first Danish Master of Wine, who is based in Spain and holds an M.Sc. in Viticulture and Oenology. With extensive winemaking experience across several of the world's top wine regions - including Yecla, Stellenbosch, Baden, and Rheingau - Jonas is a partner at Bodegas Trenza in Spain, where he produces wine alongside his brother, David Tofterup. In addition, Jonas owns and teaches at the Iberian Wine Academy, a wine school in Málaga offering WSET qualifications. Follow us to stay up-to-date with our exclusive interviews and insights from the wine world's top experts.

Jonas Tofterup MW
Source: Jonas Tofterup MW

Dear Jonas, Job de Swart nominated you to be my next guest. How are you connected with Job?

Job is a good friend who I highly admire. We met while we were studying the MW program back in 2015, and have stayed in contact ever since. Job is also the buyer for Les Généreux where he imports my family wines into The Nederlands and Belgium.

You are the first Danish Master of Wine. what does it mean to you to carry the MW title, representing Denmark?

It is an honor to be the first and only Danish MW, but I must admit that it also feels a little lonely. I wish there were more Danish MWs.

You grow up in Spain and had a long-lived dream, of becoming a winemaker. How did your wine journey start?

It started when I was just 11 years of age when I got the chance to go with my older brother to work. Fascinated by the smells, tanks, pumps, and bottling lines, I said to myself that I wanted to make wine one day with my brother.

Jonas Tofterup
Source: Jonas Tofterup

As a young teenager, you visualized life as a winemaker. Years later you realized that dream. How did you shape that dream through the years? And how did you stay consistent, realizing the dream?

Well, after the experience at my brother David’s job, I mapped out the direction which I had to study in order to become a winemaker. For me, there was never really any doubt about what I wanted to do with my life, so I finished secondary school, gymnasium (pre-university in Denmark), took a B.Sc. in Food Science and Technology, and finally an M.Sc. in Viticulture and Oenology.

Your winery Bodegas Trenza has a beautiful narrative:

‘’Trenza, translate into the English word braid. Trenza, refers to any object created by an interweaving of three or more separate strands different materials in a diagonally overlapping pattern. A braided item would be preferred over an individual strand because the braid creates a stronger, more complex, and unique item. Generally, a braid is a braid, however, the colors, textures, materials and braiding style allow each braid to be uniquely beautiful.’’

Can you explain how the wines you make, reflect the philosophy of Trenza?

Bodegas Trenza is our small family business where we braid together our different knowledge and experience in order to create something better. David’s +20 years of practical experience in making wines across Bordeaux, California, Chile, and throughout Spain. Jennifer, David’s wife, creative mind with the designs, marking and managing the back office, and my own more academic and international experience in the world of wine.

All our wines are braided together in one way or another. Be it different grapes varieties, different winemaking techniques or the aging of a single vineyard in different types of barrels.

Jonas Tofterup MW graduation MW
Source: Jonas Tofterup MW

You own the Iberian Wine Academy. A wine school that offers WSET qualifications based in Andalucía helping others with their own wine journeys. Can you explain why, education is vital for someone’s wine journey?

Education is essential in any industry. Unless you already have a solid knowledge of wines of the world, I find WSET essential for anybody working in the wine industry. You need to have an understanding of all major winegrowing regions and the most important grapes grown around the world, in order to put wine into perspective. That is independent of whether you are in production, sales, marketing, buying, or service.

Which wine book blew your mind?

It must have been World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson, particularly all the detailed maps of Burgundy.

Jonas Tofterup MW
Source: Jonas Tofterup MW

What advice would you give yourself if you could talk to your ‘’younger self’’ ten years ago?

Don’t worry so much about your savings. Buy, taste and enjoy more wines, also the little more expensive ones.

Which Master of Wine should I interview next?

My name-brother, Jonas Röjerman MW


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