The making of Clos Ancestral 2019 (DO Penedès) is a tangible expression of the paradigmatic principle that “the future was yesterday”. This new red wine has its origins in the thrilling work that Familia Torres began more than thirty years ago to recover indigenous and ancestral varieties that predate phylloxera – in other words, the vinicultural heritage of Catalonia.
This heritage provides the foundation for the growth and development of our viticulture and winemaking, today and in the future. It confers a unique identity to our wines, making them something exceptional. And it keeps our history alive, reminding us of who we were, who we are, and who we will be.
The wine Clos Ancestral with Castell de la Bleda in the background
The area surrounding Castell de la Bleda, the birthplace of Clos Ancestral in the heart of Penedès, contemplates 2000 years of viticultural history. Archaeologists have unearthed Iberian, Roman, medieval, and pre-phylloxera vestiges which point to the cultivation of varieties like Moneu, brought back from oblivion to join the blend of this new organic wine.
By looking back, we can keep moving forward. The recovery of ancestral varieties is a project that goes beyond winemaking. It is also about recovering and reclaiming a part of Catalonia's cultural and winemaking heritage that looks to the future, because these varieties are late ripening and display a natural capacity to withstand high temperatures and drought. This makes them essential in the critical context of climate change.
Video about the Ancestral Varieties project and the collection of recovered varieties
Clos Ancestral 2019 is an organic wine, a blend of indigenous varieties that combines Moneu with the likes of Ull de Llebre (Tempranillo) and Garnacha from thirty to forty-year-old vines. The lots are vinified separately to ensure the full potential and expression of each variety. Meticulous care went into the vinification of Moneu, which was partially aged in earthenware jars and amphorae.
Castell de la Bleda, The Vineyard
Located in the heart of Penedès, the vineyard extends across 16 hectares, planted in deep loam soils. Much of the vineyard is dedicated to the study of Moneu, with a number of different parcels where we experiment with a range of training systems and planting densities.
As for the other varieties in the Clos Ancestral blend, the Tempranillo grapes are sourced from the same site, whereas the Garnacha is grown at a nearby vineyard under the same climate conditions.
Castell de la Bleda, a Familia Torres property in the municipality of La Bleda
Clos Ancestral 2019, The Wine
Visually the wine is medium in colour intensity, a lovely shade of garnet red with cherry highlights. Fragrant and seductive on the nose, with rich floral and fruit aromas ranging from wild rose to raspberry. Supple, light, smooth as it unfolds across the palate, but with a pleasant and sensual texture, foregoing power in favour of an identity built on exceptional acidity and an unusual, very distinctive personality. Pure delight born from elegance and sophistication. A wine to return to, again and again.
Bringing old varieties back to life is more than an exercise in vinicultural archaeology – it is a duty and responsibility to the wines that are yet to come, to our heritage, and to ensure a future threatened by the ravages of climate change. The future was yesterday.
Clos Ancestral (DO Penedès), a red wine made from the varieties Moneu, Tempranillo, and Garnacha.