In our LAST Wine Survival Guide we talk climate change, ancient grapes and guitar-offs with Miguel Torres – and reveal our Top 5 Rioja Tips.

The world-famous Familia Torres has so far invested €15m to combat climate change. Initiatives include planting at higher altitudes and reviving ancient grape varieties that are better suited to a warming and extreme climate. We taste the results.

Rob asks how to find reliable and affordable Rioja. We give a few handy pointers on how to find the right Rioja for you, and reveal some of our favourite producers and wines. Our next episode will revert to our usual Wine Blast format and is about…rosé!

‘The virus has become a call to all of us to understand that we are part of nature and we have responsibility.’ Miguel Torres

Running Order

  • Introduction: 0 – 7.50
  • Interview with Miguel Torres Maczassek: 7.51 – 21.56
  • Talking climate change and rescuing ancestral varieties: 21.57 – 27.44
  • Listener question from Rob: 27.45 – 28.13
  • How to find the right Rioja for you: 28.14 – 33.50
  • END: 33.50

‘[Climate change] could be worse than phylloxera. It affects all the vineyards in the world’ Miguel Torres


‘During the last 30 years we’ve recuperated close to 60 ancient varieties.’ Miguel Torres

Featured wine

  • Familia Torres Varietat Recuperada Forcada 2015, Penedes, 13.5%


  • Susie resorts to threats and intimidation in this episode
  • Black plastic bulls feature in our discussion. Sorry.
  • Ever heard of grape varieties like Forcada, Pirene, Moneu, Querol and Gonfaus? Then listen to this episode.
  • This is our last Wine Survival Guide lockdown special edition. The next episode will be a return to our original schedule, interrupted by the rude arrival of coronavirus. And it will be on…rosé!
  • Some top Rioja producers: La Rioja Alta, López de Heredia (Viña Tondonia), Roda, Allende, Contino, LAN, Murrieta, Miguel Merino, Remelluri, Artadi
  • For good value Rioja: Viña Eguía, Muriel, CVNE, Riscal, Baron de Ley, Marqués de Cáceres
  • Hasta la próxima = until next time!

‘Our favourite Rioja? A magnum…’ Peter

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