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Torres unveils plans for premium Cava

Major Spanish producer Torres will release a new range of wines – including a 'niche, premium Cava' – over the next five years, according to company CEO Miguel Torres Maczassek.

Torres Maczassek: new launches

Torres Maczassek told Decanter.com, ‘We want to produce a niche, premium Cava and don’t expect the initial output to be more than 5,000 cases a year.’

According to Torres, the wines will be targeted at the Chinese market. ‘We feel that the sparkling wine category will grow in China over the next decade and Moet-Hennessy‘s domestic project in Ningxia [the French conglomerate has a joint venture to produce red wine in Yunnan province] can only strengthen the market, which clearly benefits us.’

He said that Torres are working with growers in Penedes and their own vineyards in the region, and will produce the first Cava in 2015.

The blend will be composed of international and local varieties and the wines will be aged for a minimum of 20 months on the lees.

He added that the company had also invested in vineyards in the Tremp sub-zone of the Costers del Segre region in north-east Spain.

‘This cool, high altitude vineyard zone is perfect for early-ripening varieties, so we planted some Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Merlot in addition to some pre-phylloxera Spanish varieties.

‘We plan to market a range of Costers del Segre single vineyard wines over the next five years, when the potential has been reached.’

Torres also released a new Albariño – Pazo das Bruxas – in April this year. Only 4,000 cases of the 2012 vintage have been produced, targeted exclusively at the Spanish market. It retails for approximately €9.

‘We hope to start exporting next year, with the UK being an obvious market for us,’ Torres said.

One region in which the company has no current plans for further expansion is China. The company already has a substantial presence there with Torres China, which is 10% owned by Baron Philippe de Rothschild, and through its Everwines retail chain sells some 300 different wines, from producers including Vega-Sicilia, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Symington, Egon-Muller, Chapoutier and Henschke.

But, Torres said, there are no plans to produce wine there.

‘We have observed the various domestic production projects in China with interest, but this is not something that we are ready for. It is too soon to asses whether China has the potential for sustained premium wine production,’ Torres said.

Written by James Lawrence

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