By Melissa Pulvermacher
During i4C (International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration), I had the opportunity to meet with producers from all around the world. My meeting with Miguel Torres of Chile’s General Manager, Jaime Valderrama was a real treat.
In our market, we recognize Torres Chile as the producer of easy-drinking, incredibly affordable wines, but after speaking with Jaime, I now recognize their sustainable initiatives as a major part of who they are.
We spoke of the “sustainability strategy”. In our current market, green and health products are in high demand. This does not transcend wine and in fact, the demand for “vegan” and “organic” wine is increasing substantially.
With this, a lot of producers are moving toward sustainable, organic and biodynamic practises partly for the ability to showcase the stickers of certification on their wine packages.
Jaime addresses that this, of course, acts as a marketing initiative because if people want organic, they will identify with the products that market this ideal. Miguel Torres’ Las Mulas lines are all certified organic and when the winery purchases grapes for production, these must also be 100% certified organic.
Video: Jaime discusses the climate and the organic Las Mulas line.
“The climate is changing, so we are looking for cooler places.”
Initially I questioned whether this concept of “organic” was genuine, or simply for the sake of selling more wine. The reality, however, is that when a producer commits to organic or biodynamic practises, they are committing to their farm.
These practises urge the producer to take good care of the land, to restrict the harsh chemicals being used in the vineyard and overall, guarantees that the wine is being produced with an earth-conscious philosophy.
Marketing opportunity or not, this is a good thing. Miguel Torres, Chile is committing to the environment and while delivering an organic guaranteed product to consumers, they are remaining morally and socially responsible. Who could argue with that?
Torres Chile also commits to their grape growers. Jaime stresses that this relationship is much more than a business transaction – it’s about the community, the environment and the people. This is why Torres Chile also proudly produces their fair trade line.
With the cool climate theme in check, Jaime explains that while their summers are dry and warm, their winters can get very cold. Because of these dry conditions, mold and fungus threats are not really a concern.
You can find most of the Miguel Torres wines in the LCBO, with all of Las Mulas in General List. The 2015 Las Mulas Sauvignon Blanc is only $12.95 and screams cool climate. Fresh, searing acidity with fruit and spice notes. Torres harvests these grapes early in the season to maintain the classic leafy green notes of Sauvignon Blanc.
Jaime explains that as their vineyards get closer the ocean, the more “cool climate” they are considered.
The 2015 Las Mulas Merlot is extremely fruit-forward with plum, vanilla and sweet spice. Silky tannins derived from the 6 months of French oak maturation. Only $12.95 at the LCBO.
Also, $12.95 a bottle, the 2014 Las Mulas Cabernet Sauvignon was ripe, but still fresh with a nose of tea leaf, cassis and rich, black fruit. The palate showcased a reserved freshness, indicative of a cooler climate. Jaime truly believes that Cabernet Sauvignon should be Chile’s number 1 varietal.
Torres is represented in Ontario by Family Wine Merchants.
About Melissa Pulvermacher
Melissa is a Sommelier, Wine Blogger and founder of The Vino Enthusiasts Wine Club. Melissa is educated through The Wine and Spirit Education Trust and is passionate about all things food and wine.