By Wine Enthusiast
The president of the Spanish-based Torres Group of wineries’ five decades of vision, international market building and concern for the environment to be honored at annual Wine Star Awards dinner, to be held January 28th in New York City.
New York, NY (September 5, 2012) – The annual Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Awards program recognizes and honors achievements throughout the wine world, with special consideration given to accomplishments in the business sector of the industry. This year, the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award winner is Miguel Agustín Torres, a pioneer in employing modern winemaking techniques in multiple countries and a leader in the globalization of wine.
Since joining his family’s wine business 50 years ago, Torres has been a tireless promoter of his family’s wines, and Spain as a whole. Under Torres leadership (he took over as company president and general manager in 1991), Miguel Torres S.A. has grown into one of the largest wineries in Spain, while the Torres Group of wineries, which includes properties in Chile and California in addition to Priorat, Rioja, Ribera del Duero and other regions within Spain, is world renowned. Across the globe, Torres wines are sold in 140 countries.
A man of the people as well as the boardroom, Torres, in accordance with family bylaws, recently stepped down as general manager of the Torres Group but is continuing as group president, a position that allows him to oversee and grow budding import and distribution businesses in China and India, emerging markets that Torres, in a prior interview with
Wine Enthusiast Magazine, called vital to the present and future of the global wine industry.
A lifelong visionary who early on grasped the importance of exporting his family’s wines along with the “culture of wine,” Torres in 1979 spearheaded the purchase of 250 acres of vineyard land in Chile’s Curicó Valley, thereby setting up the company’s original overseas winery. He immediately imported and installed that country’s first stainless steel fermentation tanks and also brought in the first new oak barrels Chile had seen since the 1940s. In 1996, the Chilean government named Torres a Grand Official of the Order of Bernardo O’Higgins in recognition of his contributions to developing Chile’s fledgling wine sector.
Since the dawning of the new millennium, Torres has largely concentrated his efforts in three key areas: domestic expansion outside the family’s home region of Penedès; importing and distributing Torres wines (and those of other producers) in China and India; and speaking about climate change and its impact on global viticulture, something that spurred Time magazine to dedicate an article to him in August 2011.
“Miguel Torres has changed the world of wine by not only setting an example for the modernization of the Spanish wine industry, but on a global scale,” says Wine Enthusiast editor and publisher Adam Strum. “He has helped to proliferate wine consumption in China in his role as a major importer and retailer, and is now moving into India and beyond. Charming and charismatic, Torres is universally respected for his innovation, diligence and leadership in the wine world.”
Torres is married to Waltraud Maczassek; the couple has three children, two of whom (daughter Mireia and son Miguel Jr.) work for the Torres Group.
For the full profile on Lifetime Achievement Award winner Miguel A. Torres, as well as in-depth looks at all 2012 award winners, see the Best of Year issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine.