New York — Miguel Torres Maczassek is the fifth-generation owner of Bodega Torres in Catalonia’s Vilafranca del Penedès, about an hour outside Barcelona. Yet in 2012, he bought 195ha of land 1,200m high in the Pyrenees, even though it’s not possible to grow wine there … yet. Torres expects climate change to make it viable to produce grapes in a decade or two. "We are not about to grow Pinot Noir in the Pyrenees, but maybe we can plant the Pinot Noir," he says, standing on his Catalan vineyard. "When we tell people we’re buying land where nothing grows today, they look at us strangely. But we believe it makes sense." Torres talks a lot about the future but even more about the past. Since the 1980s, Torres placed ads in local Spanish newspapers seeking grapevines that survived phylloxera, the late-19th century plague that decimated European vineyards. Today, 35 years and 500 phone calls later, he has found 46 ancestral varieties, six of which have been made into viable wines not taste...

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