Bodegas Torres Reintroduces Ancestral Grape Variety Thought Gone in the 19th Century
Bodegas Torres, one of Catalonia’s largest wine companies, will reintroduce Moneu, a grape variety that was virtually destroyed by phylloxera two hundred years ago. The pre-phylloxera variety was discovered near Querol about two decades ago as part of a project to revive ancestral varieties.
Moneu is the second ancestral grape that Bodegas Torres brings back into Penedés: a few years ago the winemaker replanted Selma Blanca at its Aguaviva vineyards. Moneu’s name comes from Coster del Moneu (the “banks of the Moneu River”), located close to where the variety was found.
They are still in the search, as there is evidence of a wide diversity of grapes existing in the region before the phylloxera virus ravaged Europe’s vineyards in the late 19th century.
The project of finding and replanting ancestral grapes was started about 30 years ago by Miguel A. Torres, current president of the company. Moneu will be planted in the historical Castell de la Bleda vineyards in Santa Margarida i el Monjos, which was recently bought by Bodegas Torres.
In the last 30 years, Bodegas Torres has revived around 50 varieties, but only six of them show potential for quality wines, including four from the Penedés.
For more information visit www.torres.es/en