Spain's Torres said it has brought two red wine grape varieties back from the brink of extinction and believes they could help the group manage the effects of climate change.
Torres said that two revived wine grapes named Moneu and Gonfaus have ‘great promise’ for red wine production.
It is the latest part of a long-running project that has seen Torres investigate and revive around 40 Spanish grape varieties previously cultivated in the Catalonia region since the 1980s.
And the move comes amid rising interest in forgotten grape varieties in several countries, with projects known to be underway in Italy, southern France, Switzerland and also Chile.
Many of these are not deemed suitable for use in wine blends, but Torres is already using a couple of ancestral varieties – Querol and Garró – in its Gran Muralles blend.
It thinks Moneu and Gonfaus could follow a similar path and may even be useful in dealing with the effects of climate change in Catalonia.
‘The Torres family discovered that these two varieties express their greatest potential in arid climates and under extreme conditions,’ said Torres. ‘Both varieties are extremely drought resistant.’
Miguel Torres Maczassek, general manager of Bodegas Torres, said reviving old varieties was a long, slow process. ‘It gives us a better understanding of the wealth of grape varieties that existed prior to the outbreak of phylloxera at the end of the 19th century.’