Bodega Torres reintroduces ‘lost’ indigenous variety

Spanish wine producer Bodega Torres is reintroducing indigenous Catalan red grape Moneu in Penedès following trials to determine the variety’s potential.


Torres is reviving Moneu in Penedès


The grape variety, which thrived in the region before being almost wiped out by phylloxera in the 19th century, was rediscovered more than twenty years ago as part of a project that revives indigenous varieties.

The company is grafting Moneu on 4 1/2 hectares of it new vineyards at Castell de la Bleda in Santa Margarida i el Monjos, which it acquired recently, as well as its L’Aranyó vineyards in Les Garrigues, where it has been testing the grape.

It said the grape was highly resistant to drought and had “high enological potential”, offering wines with an intense fresh fruit aroma with floral and creamy undertones, and “a luscious palate, well-defined acidity, good concentration and smooth tannins”. It is likely to be used in red blends.

Bodegas Torres’ general manager Miguel Torres Maczassek said it was exciting to see the regions’ rich winegrowing heritage being revived.

“Given the Penedès’s long winegrowing tradition, we are convinced that the region was home to many grape varieties before phylloxera destroyed the vineyards in the late 19th century,” he said. “We believe that there is evidence of varieties that survived phylloxera, scattered in different places, as shown by the vines we have found over the years.”

He added that the team was working on translating the project into unique wines being brought to market, pointing out these wines that would be impossible to replicate anywhere else in the world.

The variety is be the second ancestral variety Torres has reintroduced in the region following its successful planting of white variety Selma Blanca at its Aiguaviva vineyard, and forms part of its 30-year old revival project, which has seen it revive around 50 different varieties. Other grapes revived include Querol and Garró, which are used in its flagship Grans Muralles blend, from the DO Conca de Barberà.

Last year it launched a microvinification winery at its Pacs del Penedès facility, which use grapes from pilot vineyards Tremp, l’Aranyó, and Mas Rabell near the town of Sant Martí Sarroca and the new Castell de la Bleda estate.

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