As Miguel Torres celebrates 40 years of anniversary in Chile, it counts saving vines that are described as “condemned to oblivion” as one of its key achievements for Chilean viticulture.
One of the most exciting chapters in Miguel Torres Chile’s 40-year history has been the discovery of varieties condemned to oblivion and ancestral vines that yield unique wines, according to the winery, founded in 1979 by Spanish winery Familia Torres.
Torres’ efforts in recovering and preserving old vines included Cabernet Sauvignon, País variety, Carignan in addition to Moscatel and Cinsault.
Miguel Torres Maczassek, Executive President of Miguel Torres Chile since late 2009 and a member of the family’s fifth generation, describes Manso de Velasco – the Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard with vines over 115 years old – as “a survivor of the agricultural revolution”.
In addition, the recovery of the País variety, used to make the sparkling rosé Estelado and La Causa País, has been another of the winery’s significant contributions to Chilean vine growing. Its commitment to this historic variety has provided fundamental support to the work of thousands of farmers.
“I remember those hidden, forgotten vines that were over 200 years old and didn’t have a wine that would give them a voice. The vineyards were being worked and the wines sold at a loss to be blended with other wines. In Europe, however, old vines are a treasure and we believed we could give these vineyards value in Chile as well. It was an emotionally overwhelming project for us, but the País variety came back to life: Its vines tell us an old story of Chile that is still alive today,” explains Torres.
Another key varietal that the winery revived is Carignan, which offers a unique expression in the Maule Valley, with hundred-year-old vines. The VIGNO (Vignadores de Carignan) project was one of the most important innovations, introduced in 1996 with the first vintage of the red wine Cordillera Carignan.
The winemaking project in the Itata Valley, on the other hand, is the source of La Causa, a collection of wines highlighting ancient varieties such as Moscatel and Cinsault, and at the same contributing to recovering Chilean wine history since this was the valley where vine growing started over 300 years ago.
In addition to preserving old vines, the winery is also committed to fair trade and combating climate change.
Today, the winery has a team of over 200 employees and owns 400 hectares of vineyards spread over eight properties in the regions of Maule, Bío Bío, and Ñuble, producing around 10 types of wine and the pisco El Gobernador, sold in over 115 countries.