Wine Tourism in Toro
Among Castilla and Leon wines, one of the most recent designations of origin, established barely 30 years ago, is Toro, which has recently experimented a notable increase in wine exports as well as in the number of visitors interested in wine tourism routes in this region.
The Designation of Origin Toro
Located in the southeast of the provinces of Zamora and Valladolid, we find the D.O. Toro that that spreads across 16 villages in both provinces; the region has a vineyard extension of only 19.700 acres and 51 wineries.
The spirit of these wines is achieved thanks to the optimum climate conditions in the area: altitude, between 600 and 700 meters above sea level, scarce precipitation and the annual amount of sunlight hours produces a high-quality grape.
Wines and grapes in Toro
Among the Toro wines we highlight the following:
The production of red wines is characterized by the use of a native grape called Tinta de Toro in which its origins are unknown although there are researchers that believe the grape was already cultivated in this area more than two thousand years ago.
Among the Toro reds, the wines are classified according to their degree of ripening, so the “Crianza” have at least 2 years which 6 months must be of ageing in oak barrels, “Reserva” at least 3 years of which 12 months should be in barrels, and the “Gran Reserva” with 5 years (with 18 months of ageing in oak barrels).
All of these varieties have to be produced with 100% Tinta de Toro red grape, while the wines with the mention “Roble” on the label, admit 10% of the Grenache variety.
These are wines produced with the grape varieties Tinta de Toro (at least 75%) and Grenache (Garnacha), using the traditional method of “bleeding” with short maceration and subsequent fermentation at a low temperature, which allows an optimal conservation of its aroma and flavor.
These whites are produced with 85% Malvasia and the rest with the Verdejo grape, however, 100% Verdejo grape is also admitted; normally these are straw-colored yellow wines with a glint of green, almond and fruit aromas and a fresh flavor with a slightly bitter aftertaste which is typical of these wines.
Some wine tourism activities in Toro
Despite the small area, Toro offers a great variety of wine tourism activities.
The region offers visits to the wine cellars where an expert will inform the wine tourist on the grapes and the wine production process.
In the same way, there is also the option of staying overnight in the area, in country houses, wine hotel, or in modern hotels with a spa that will delight the most demanding travelers.
It is worth mentioning some novel initiatives growing in this area. The wine enthusiast can adopt a row of grapevine, make periodic visits to see the grape cultivation process during the entire year, visit the personalized wine barrel to know the degree of maturation, and end with the delivery of his or her very own wine bottles. This option gives the wine tourist a perfect experience in the world of wines.
Other interesting wine tourism activities in Toro are cultural visits; among other tourist attractions, the region´s capital is home to monuments such as the Alcázar, the Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor or the Monasterio-Museum de Sancti Spiritus, these are only some of the historic places that the wine tourism traveler can visit in the charming town of Toro.