Familia Torres’s new Purgatori winery in Les Garrigues, in Lleida, is up and running with the vinification of its first grapes. This marks the first time that Purgatori is made at its namesake winery. This expressive Garnacha and Cariñena blend has consolidated its position as Familia Torres's flagship Costers del Segre appellation wine. The winery thus revives the legacy of the Benedictine monks who made wine in this harsh region as early as 1770.
Over the course of this week and through to the end of September, the tanks inside the winery – stainless steel and concrete ones made with earth from the vineyard – will fill up with grapes from the vineyard growing out front. Planted on three different levels, the vineyard has a 200-meter slope that rises to a maximum elevation of 550 meters. Each vineyard lot is hand-harvested at optimal ripeness and manually processed in separate batches to preserve the integrity of the fruit. The combination of steel and concrete enhances the wine's complexity, with the former emphasizing the fruit and the latter benefitting the wine's maturation and evolution. The wines then age in French oak for 15 to 18 months prior to their release.
“Almost twenty years ago, we took a chance on this region and its harsh climate by planting vineyards here again,” remarks Miguel Torres Maczassek, “Over the years, we have seen how Mediterranean varieties like Garnacha and Cariñena have adapted exceedingly well. Six years ago, Purgatori became the first wine made from this vineyard. The inauguration of the new winery marks the culmination of a very promising project that has led us to restore the old winery built by the Benedictine monks in the 18th century.”
A winery with a rich history
Familia Torres built the Purgatori winery on the historical Mas de l'Aranyó estate. Seamlessly integrated into its surroundings, it not only preserves the old farmhouse built by the Abbey of Montserrat two-and-a-half centuries ago but celebrates its winemaking heritage as well. The new building is an elegant functional space made from fine materials that connects with the old wine cellar built by the estate's original tenants. The cellar lies beneath the old farmhouse, which has also been partially restored to accommodate a large tasting room.
The winery is open to the public by appointment only. Built according to energy-efficient criteria, it also includes a self-consumption photovoltaic system that reflects Familia Torres's environmental commitment and its efforts to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Familia Torres bought the farmhouse and its 870 hectares in 1999 and reintroduced winegrowing on the estate. It currently has 200 hectares of organically certified vineyards and 100 hectares of olive groves. The continental climate, the striking shifts in daytime and nighttime temperature and the distribution of the vineyard on three different levels make the Les Garrigues estate one of Familia Torres's finest in terms of quality. In addition, it provides an excellent site for conducting field research with revived ancestral varieties and studying how the vines adapt to climate change.