Toro D.O Bravery
Half a hundred wineries are protected under the D.O. Toro, which sits at the western end of the region of Castilla y León, in the province of Zamora, and through which the majestic Duero river opens its way, on a dedicated surface to the vineyard of about 8,000 hectares, of which 5,800 are registered in the Consejo Regulador de la DO.
We speak of a region with heritage of centennial phylloxeric vineyards, planted in free and native foot (without the need to graft them in the American foot, in Vitis Lambrusca, as it happens in much of the Iberian Peninsula), because it was a territory immune to the phylloxera, by preventing sandy soils that the insect was transmitted between the roots of plants.
There is an old, powerful vineyard in this young denomination of origin – born in 1987 – but whose genealogy is extensive, prior to the arrival of the Romans in the Peninsula. The Toro Denomination of Origin itself tells us that wine from this wine region “was considered a good of great appreciation in the Middle Ages, being granted real privileges that allowed its commercialization in cities where the sale of other wines was prohibited.” And it is said that Toro wine accompanied the crew of the discovery of America, for its characteristics to successfully overcome the passage of time, the long journeys.
Hay viña vieja, poderosa, en esta denominación de origen joven –nació en 1987- pero cuya genealogía es extensa, anterior a la llegada de los romanos a la Península. Cuenta la propia Denominación de Origen de Toro que el vino de esta región vitícola “fue considerado en la Edad Media un bien de gran aprecio, siéndole concedido privilegios reales que permitían su comercialización en ciudades donde la venta de otros vinos estaba prohibida”. Y se dice que el vino de Toro acompañó a la tripulación del descubrimiento de América, por sus características para superar con éxito el paso del tiempo, las largas travesías.
The Toro Terroir
In addition to its wines, it is perhaps the photogenic landscape of the DO Toro vineyards that makes a wine lover fall in love. Arid landscape reflecting a harsh climate, with annual rainfall less than 400 mm, more than 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, very cold and long winters, with important frosts, and hot and dry summers, in which 40 degrees Celsius are exceeded and there is a significant thermal jump between day and night, which favors the synthesis of polyphenols that benefit the quality of the grapes. It is, thus, a region defined by a Mediterranean-continental climate, with a certain Atlantic influence, in which the vineyard sits at an altitude between 600 and 800 meters.
The soils of the denomination are sandy, with clay subsoil, and, in the best vineyards, gravel on the surface, to retain heat during the day and release it to the plant at night, when the temperature drops to 20 degrees.
La hegemonía de la Tinta de Toro
Toro is not understood without the variety that takes the name of this land, the Tinta de Toro, the adaptation of Tempranillo to this habitat, with the personality marked by the idiosyncrasy of this land. The more ink of red grapes, as they sometimes baptize. Thick skin, small grain, abundant tannin and concentration of fruit that gives rise to powerful and structured and intense wines.
Today Toro is a land recognized for wines with character that have gained balance and elegance thanks also to the good work of a handful of winemakers and processors who put the media focus on the region and knew how to winemaking a winemaking gem.
The Value of Toro
Names like the Eguren brothers with the Numanthia-Termes project, Mariano García and his work in Mauro, Michel Rolland in the Elysium, Jacques Lurton with El Albar or Vega Sicilia with his Pintia winery.
Men of wine who came to Toro from other regions, such as Roberto San Ildefonso, from Rioja, with the Finca Sobreño project. San Ildefonso was one of the pioneers in seeing the potential of this denomination and his commitment to this territory continues, working the most outstanding vineyards in Finca Sobreño, where the soil offers the best of the denomination and where the geographical situation shelters the vineyard of the spring frosts.
Toro seduces with the bravery of its landscape, its climate and its native varieties from the continuous challenge of strengthening its prestige as an emerging wine region in a territory linked to wine for centuries.