In order to discover the origins of Toro wine, one has to go back in history to pre-Roman times. In the middle ages, this wine produced in this region was granted royal privileges, giving it an air of exclusivity. A few centuries later, it was taken across the oceans to celebrate the discovery of the New World.
Contemporary documents of that era speak of its quality:
“…..the mule drivers that take wine to Seville from Ocaña and Jerez and many other places and, using deceit and trickery, try to pass it off as for Castilian wine or red wine from Toro, should have their wine, their wineskins and animals confiscated”.
Court order given in the market in Seville in 1352.
Gongora himself praised the magnificent qualities of the wines produced in this region in poems such as this:
“On a doctor’s finger
encrusted in gold, I saw
a fine ruby
because this colour is always
the best antidote for melancholy;
I, to overcome my own sadness, set a ruby in gold:
Toro gave me the ruby
Ciudad Real, the gold
Did I do wrong?”
And Gabriel Alonso de Herrera, in a book commissioned by Cardinal Cisneros in 1558, defines the wine from Toro as:
“The king of all wines, because it blends colour and smoothness”.
Geography and Climate
Geographically, the Toro Appellation d’Origine embraces vineyards in the provinces of Zamora and Valladolid, edged by the river Duero.
Although this region is influenced to some degree by weather from the Atlantic, the combination of a predominantly arid, continental climate and a high percentage of sunny days, guarantee the exceptional quality of the grapes – a basic requirement for a wine of high quality.
The vine-growing conditions of this region are characterised by stony topsoil and underneath, a layer of clayey earth. The capacity of the soil to absorb and retain water without forming puddles, the sharp drops in temperature during the night and the heat of the sun during the day, all combine to make this a wine-making region of exceptional quality. The abundance of polyphenols to be found in Toro Red Wines is a good reflection of this.
DO. The Toro:
It was in 1987 when the winemaking region of Toro acquired its status as an Appellation d’Origine. According to the regulations of the Toro Appellation d’Origine, “Tinta de Toro” is the main grape variety used to produce the wines of this region. This variety develops wonderful aromas in its crianza wines and is responsible for the age-old prestige of the wines produced under this Appellation d’Origine.
The main grape variety grown in this region is the Tinta de Toro. Toro is one of the few Appellations d’Origine that does not allow the introduction of non-native varieties.
The Toro Appellation d’Origine protects its exclusive nature by establishing maximum yields of 6000 kg/Ha of Tinta de Toro grapes.
The Toro Appellation d’Origine:
There are now more than 4000 Ha of registered land, belonging to 1000 registered vine-growers. This is a relatively small number and facilitates the control of quality parameters in vineyards and bodegas.
The key to the success of Toro is the fact that winemakers have successfully combined the traditional methods that made this region famous, with the latest technological advances, but always in accordance with the strictest quality standards.
The high quality of the wines produced by Bodegas Sobreño is mainly the result of its exhaustive grape selection procedures, which satisfy the requirements of the most demanding markets.
The Bodega owns 70 Ha of vineyards of which half contain vines which are more than 30 years old.
Bodegas Sobreño concentrates its efforts on producing clean, bright, well-balanced red wines, with the deep, intense red colour so characteristic of the highly-regarded Toro wines produced in this region.
The Bodega combines the traditional craft methods of the past with modern techniques to produce exclusive, aged and reserve wines “d’auteur” on the estate.