Toro Spanish Wine DO region, the furthest west of the wine DOs of the Duero Valley, has made great strides over the last 20 years based on the success of the powerful and expressive Tinta de Toro grape, a local take on Tempranillo. The DO is named after the town of Toro, which is situated above the banks of the Río Duero. It features some spectacular medieval architecture including the 12th century Colegiata de Santa María, one of Spain’s most impressive Romanesque monuments.
A new quality-orientated era started in Toro Spanish Wine DO region in the 90s when a few local producers set about making Toro’s wines better known. In 1998 there were eight bodegas there, now there are at least 50. These days the Toro Spanish Wine DO region style is both distinctive and more refined which is due to a combination of key factors. Firstly the Toro Spanish Wine DO region has kept significant amounts of old vines – vines over 50 years old are common in the region - and the traditional bush vine system of cultivation is still widely seen. Secondly the altitude of the Toro Spanish Wine DO region vineyards means that temperatures are significantly cooler at night in the summer favouring aroma development and colour. Tinta de Toro also tends to ripen around two weeks earlier than the Tempranillo of Rioja producing thicker skins and generally slightly higher alcohol levels. Finally modern winemaking techniques in Toro Spanish Wine DO region have had an impact on quality and shaped the modern Toro wine style.
Producers in Toro Spanish Wine DO region offer a range of styles from young reds through to Crianzas and Reservas. An aged Toro wine is no shrinking violet and food with a similarly strong profile is recommended especially meat – roast lamb, game and beef.
The other red grape of significance here is Garnacha which is sometimes found in blends, especially rosés. Small amounts of white wine are made from Malvasía and Verdejo.
Toro Spanish Wine DO Region Principal Red Grape Varieties: Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo). Others: Garnacha Tinta
Toro Spanish Wine DO Region Principal White Grape Varieties: Malvasía and Verdejo
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