Spanish farmer’s grape collection could be client resistant, could tackle global warming

A farmer’s vast array of grape varieties he has been collecting since the 1980s could play a pivotal role in tackling the country’s current climate crisis. 

Miguel A Torres put ads in local newspapers aimed at winemakers across Catalunya asking where to find any uncommon grape varieties and to get in touch. 

The president of Familia Torres winery said dozens of leads came through, but it is only a decade later that he realised he could possess more than just a collection of rare grape types. 

“I simply wanted to recover the heritage – the ancient traditions and vines – left to us by our ancestors,” Torres said. 

“And then we realised that some of these varieties take longer to ripen, meaning they might be able to help us in a warming world.”

It comes as experts have painted a grim picture of what the climate crisis could look in Spain, with a recent report suggesting the country is one of the EU countries most at risk.

Rising temperatures in Spain mean grapes ripen more quickly, leaving winemakers rushing to harvest.

“Climate change is the worst threat the sector has ever faced,” Torres said.

“In the 19th century we had the phylloxera plague that wiped out vineyards across Europe. This is much worse.”

Spain is home to a €5 billion-a-year wine production industry, with the country’s production outpaced all other EU countries in 2021. 

Torres has started releasing small quantities of wine from his grapes, such as forcada and pirene.


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