Friday, January 5, 2024

Miguel Torres Chile Targets Zero Emissions With Tasteful, Organic Wines

Familia Torres, a well-known winemaking family in Spain, has been producing wine for more than 150 years and five generations. Torres was the first foreign winery in Chile and they produced the first Pinot Noir in that country.

Miguel Torres Chile today is under the guidance of Miguel Torres Maczassek. Their wine business in Chile is built on three pillars: organic farming, sustainability, and innovation.

Their goal is to reach net zero emissions by 2050, a tall order for any winery. In 2021 they attained a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions per bottle with a goal to reach a 60% reduction by 2030.

Green practices from vineyard to bottle are helping on the pathway to net zero emissions. Three main practices include:

Waste management: The winery approaches its industrial waste by installing clean points, reducing the generation of single-use plastic and using elements for packaging that are designed for recycling. They reduced the weight of 3 out of every 4 bottles produced, becoming one of the most significant reductions in the industry, now being 38% lighter. That’s less waste produced and less fuel to ship the wine.

Renewable energy:  Two photovoltaic arrays of solar panels are installed in the winery in the Curicó Valley. One  generates power for the winemaking process; and the other for the production process, such as bottling and labeling. These projects together with the biomass boilers self-generate 30% of clean energy.

Sustainable viticulture: This involves regenerative viticulture, which seeks to imitate nature as much as possible so that vineyards can become natural ecosystems. The winery applies this practice in its vineyards to reach a new balance based on the increase of biodiversity and organic matter in a natural way, thus enabling the vineyards to absorb more atmospheric CO2.

We contemplated these impressive environmental actions while sipping three bottles from the Miguel Torres Chile “Las Mulas” label. We sampled the 2021 Sauvignon Blanc, 2022 Rose, and the 2021 Cabernet Sauvignon, all made with organically grown grapes. 

The rosé comes from the Central Valley and is a blend of Pinot Noir and Monastrell (also known as Mourvèdre in France). This is a cheerful wine with delicate notes of fresh raspberries and ample acidity. This is a great aperitif or pairing with a light, casual meal.

Pale yellow in the glass, the Sauvignon Blanc is subtle, with a wafting aroma of tropical fruit. On the palate, it tastes of lychee fruit, freshly mown grass, and charming citrus fruit. This is perfect for baked or sauteed fish with light sauce. It’s truly wonderful on its own as well.

Las Mulas Cabernet Sauvignon was a satisfying surprise. All three of these bottles sell for about $10, but the Cabernet is loaded with flavor and outperforms other wines that are double the cost. I brought this to my weekly wine tasting with my friend Arthur Barham (Merlot 2 Muscadine). The flavors are rich, with prominent red fruit and accents of spice. It’s round and elegant with tannins providing a light and easy structure. The finish was buoyant and long. This is a tremendous deal at the price.

We suggest you cheer Miguel Torres Chile on their way to zero net emissions by toasting with a bottle of their Las Mulas wine!

Full disclosure: These wines were received as marketing samples.

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