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Miguel Torres Jr anticipates return to Spain as father's retirement approaches

Published:  11 June, 2012

Miguel Torres Jr thinks the writing's on the wall for his time in South America, as his father's retirement looms.

Torres' father Miguel, the company's chief executive, has already announced publicly that he would like to retire, but it's not yet clear who will take his place at the helm of the family firm, which has operations in Spain, Chile and California.

Torres Jr has been in Curicó, Chile with his family for the past two and a half years, and told Harpers: "I have to say I'm not in a hurry to go back to Spain." However, he added that he could see his return happening within the near future.

Since his move to Chile, he has been workng on the group's Santa Digna Estelada, which is a traditional method sparkling wine made with the indigenous red variety País. Torres said: "We're trying to recuperate the history of Chile - for more than 300 years this was the local wine. This variety was a surprise for all of us, it's very floral and fruity."

"We're trying to go more for terroir wines."

He admitted this type of wines, with unfamiliar grape varieties, were harder for consumers to understand and perhaps were "not so commercial" but said, "if we don't put them on the shelf, it's hard to show what Chile is doing."

He also said the firm is looking more to the south of Chile for new wine regions.

Torres added that the UK was "less attractive" right now than other markets given its appetite for low-priced wines. He said the desire to sell to other markets was even more pronounced when it came to wines with limited production. Torres is already selling 25% of its total production in Asia, where it has operated its own distribution company for five years. "They're willing to drink it and pay much higher prices than the UK."

He added that while the strength of the Chilean peso affected business "in a  negative way", but had not put paid to 10% growth in exports of its Chilean wine over the past two years.