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Who's who?
28/03/2016

Miguel A. Torres

Ricardo Migueláñez. @rmiguelanez

Talking about wine in Spain means talking about Torres, a family from Vilafranca del Penedès in which five generations have dedicated themselves to this product and which have proudly represented Spain with their brands.

Torres produces quality wines and sells them all over the world. It is strongly committed to this industry. However, I would also like to highlight the company's focus in favor of sustainable innovation in its products and how it protects the environment and addresses climate change. A laudable commitment led by our person of the week, Miguel A. Torres, current President and Managing Director and the fourth generation to helm the family business.

Born in Barcelona in 1941, Miguel A. Torres is the second son of Miguel Torres Carbó and Margarita Riera. In 1957 he began studying chemistry at the University of Barcelona, and in 1959 he entered the University of Dijon (Burgundy) to specialize in Enology and Viticulture. In 1962, when he was 21, he joined the family business.

He married Waltraud Maczassek in 1967. The fact that his wife was German was, and continues to be, decisive for the company, as she was responsible for launching and managing exports to Germany, currently one of the leading markets. The couple have three children: Ana, Mireia, and Miguel.

Torres is fluent in English and French, he speaks German well and he studied Japanese, Chinese and Russian for several years.

He is also a writer. Torres has published several books on wine. The most well known is Viñas y Vinos, published in 1977 and currently available in its seventh edition in Spanish and English (updated and revised). His other works are entitled Vino español, un incierto futuro (1979); Manual de los vinos de Cataluña (1982); Los vinos de España Cata (1984); Guía Folio de los Vinos de España (1985); and Els Vins del Penedès (1987). He's also responsible for coordinating the Encyclopedia of Wine, published by Orbis.

In 1996, the Chilean government presented him with the Order of Bernardo O'Higgins award, in the class of Grand Officer, thanking him for his efforts towards achieving better relations between Spain and Chile and for his contribution towards the development of the country's winemaking industry.

In 2012, Torres received the Order of the Lion of Finland, the highest distinction granted by the Finnish government to a foreigner, and he was named Man of the Year by UK magazine Decanter, an honor bestowed on just three Spaniards in its more than 30 years of history.

In 2013, the then-Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, Miguel Arias Cañete, presented him with the Gold Plaque of the Civil Order of Merit for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, granted by the Spanish Council of Ministers.

His concerns about climate change and environmental protection have also been recognized at international level. The prestigious magazine Time published an extensive article about him in August 2011, and Drinks Business honored his company for its commitment to renewable energy at the fifth edition of the international Green Awards in 2015.

That same year, Bodegas Torres was recognized for the second year in a row as the World's Most Admired Wine Brand by leading UK magazine Drinks International.

All of these awards reflect his outstanding professional track record, but he's also an outstanding person, according to the people that work with him. The people who know him say the same thing. He is determined, passionate and a hard worker and although he has strong convictions, he is also polite and friendly—that's just the kind of person he is.

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