Courtesy Miguel Torres Riera

Miguel Torres is the owner and president of Familia Torres Wineries, and co-founder of the International Wineries Climate Association (IWCA). Among other sustainability efforts, in 2023, Familia Torres led the start of SmartCrops 5.1, a collaboration between Spanish research centers and private companies to use digital “twins” to test climate-resilient irrigation and fertilizer techniques in Europe’s most water-stressed country.

What is a climate technology that isn’t getting the attention or funding it deserves?

Carbon capture and reuse of wine fermentation CO2 is a great opportunity to capture pure and highly concentrated CO2 from the atmosphere.

What sustainability effort do you hope will gain popularity with the general public this year, and why?

Returnable packaging. Glass packaging is ideal for wine for many reasons, but in order to reduce the greenhouse gasses embedded in every glass bottle, these need to be reused several times. Evidently, this approach makes more sense for entry-level wines, and still it requires a standardized bottle in order to succeed.

Where should climate activism go in the next year?

We need to stop our dependency to oil and gas fuels (the fuels themselves, but also plastics). [Through] IWCA, we share best practices with 45 other wineries from around the world—cooperation is key to accelerate decarbonizing our activity and become a reference for other sectors. This is what’s in our hands and we are strongly committed to it. Climate change is the biggest threat for agriculture-based businesses.

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