High-altitude vineyards—known as such because of their elevation above sea level—experience variations in climatic conditions that define the wines they produce. The elevation-temperature combination has a decisive impact on the ripening cycle, exposing the grapes to temperature variations that imbue the wines with a very particular, distinctive personality.
These are exceptional vineyards and parcels, located somewhere between the earth and the stars. Els Tossals (DOQ Priorat), Fompedraza (DO Ribera del Duero), or Sant Miquel (DO Costers del Segre) caress the constellations as they nestle deep into the ground.
Els Tossals (DOQ Priorat), a Familia Torres property
Here the seasons are clearly defined and establish the conditions for the start and subsequent development of the vegetative cycle. With every 100-meter rise in elevation, the temperature drops an average of 0.65ºC.
This sharp contrast in temperature means that fruit maturation proceeds at a slower pace. In a “stop-start” system of sorts, the grapes produce sugar during the day and stop when it cools down at night, thus drawing out the cycle.
Vineyards in Fompedraza (DO Ribera del Duero), a Familia Torres property
Earth and sky, day and night, conspire in the creation of Celeste, a wine from the Pago de Cielo (DO Ribera del Duero) winery, located a 900 meters above sea level. The Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) vines have grown accustomed to the region's extreme temperatures, taking on a distinctive personality that does not need a varietal blend to shine.
Given the runaway effects of climate change, winegrowers and producers are exploring new, cooler cultivation areas, where they can better control grape maturation and prevent imbalances in the development of the plant's biological processes.
Vineyards in Sant Miquel (Tremp), a Familia Torres property
The search for high-altitude vineyards and parcels is a challenge for wine producers. Even so, cool-climate wines are destined to prevail, showing the world the very best of our region and our wines.