14 October 2022

Although the region has a long winegrowing tradition, the Costers del Segre appellation of origin is only now receiving the recognition it deserves. It reaches from Lleida to the foothills of the Pyrenees, where the vines grow in small parcels at 1000 metres above sea level.  


Map of the DO Costers del Segre 


The region is steeped in a farming tradition and known for its olive oil. A good fit, given how the grapevine and the olive tree were two of the first crops that we as humans started. 


Campo de olivos en la DO Costers del Segre.
Olive groves in DO Costers del Segre 


Climate is a decisive factor in the seven subzones of the appellation. Marked by an extreme continental climate influenced by the Pyrenees mountains, the region experiences below-zero winter temperatures and in the summer, on the hottest days, highs can reach 40 degrees Celsius. These temperature ranges contribute to the correct ripening of varieties such as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cariñena, Merlot, Syrah, Trepat, Garnacha, Chardonnay, Parellada, and Xarel.lo. 

The monastic life of the Benedictines led to the establishment of countless vineyards and wineries in order to supply the community with wine, both for consumption and liturgical purposes. Any surplus was sold in nearby villages, thereby creating a relationship to the grapevine, which over the years grew into a new winemaking culture with a wealth of knowledge and techniques. 


This legacy is woven into the cultural and historical fabric of the region and expressed in its wines, as well as in the rich Romanesque heritage of its churches where grapevine-inspired ornamentation embellishes the capitals and murals.   A collection of architectural sites, comprised of a chapel and eight churches (including Santa Maria de Taüll and Sant Climent), offer the finest example of the Catalan Romanesque style and were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.

The Purgatori winery in the DO Costers del Segre is a tangible testimony of the monastic order’s presence in the region. The venerable old Benedictine dining hall is now home to the eponymous wine, which represents Familia Torres’s first venture in the DO. 



 Purgatori winery, a Familia Torres property, located in Juneda (Lleida) 

The aspiration of Purgatori is to participate in this monastic heritage. At the winery of the same name, where once the monks of Montserrat made their wine, Familia Torres now crafts one of the new classics among its prestigious names.


Purgatori, a red wine by Familia Torres, from the DO Costers del Segre 


Enveloped in a dark cherry robe, Purgatori presents a blend of three varieties (Cariñena, Syrah, red Garnacha) that reveals the unique characteristics of its geo-climatic conditions. Elegantly complex, the wine offers an assortment of ripe black fruit, predominantly blackberries and blueberries, that intermingle on the nose with subtle smoky and creamy notes to yield an organoleptic garden , balanced and carried by a weft of fine tannins as it unfolds, long and round, on the palate.


Beyond the etymological definition of “appellation of origin”, the concept embraces a wide range of interrelationships that revolve around a culture of working the land, its history, and the material heritage which has shaped this region and the richness it brings us.