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Torres plans for climate change with Chile land deal

Spanish wine giant Miguel Torres has bought 230ha of land in Chile's Itata Valley region as part of a plan to insulate its wine business in the country from the effects of climate change.

Torres has paid an undisclosed fee for the land (pictured), located southeast of Chillan on the banks of the river Nuble, and intends to plant a vineyard there focusing on red grape varieties.

While the group said its move was part of an investment to revive one of Chile‘s oldest winemaking valleys, the deal is ‘also fulfils a need to find land that in time will help combat the challenges of climate change’, Torres said.

‘Forty years ago, the climate in Chillan was not conducive to the cultivation of varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere for high quality wines, as the grapes did not achieve the required level of maturity.

‘However, this looks set to change as rising temperatures and climate change could mean grapes of perfect maturity will be viable here in the future,’ the group said.

Torres also has plans for a wine tourism project in the area. It sees the winter as an especially good opportunity to offer ‘high quality wine tastings’ around the annual ski season there.

There are currently 636ha of vines planted in Chile’s Itata valley, of which 442ha are Cabernet Sauvignon, according to Wines of Chile. Torres said warm days and cold nights, plus a good amount of spring water and sunlight, make it well-placed to be a top wine region.

Written by Chris Mercer

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