Spain: Toro

Spain: Toro

November 29, 2009 Wine 0

The first wine region I visited in Spain was Toro, one of the DOs found in Castilla y Leon, located around the Duero river west of Ribera del Duero and northwest of Rueda. The Duero crosses the region from east to west, becoming the Douro as it drifts through Portugal. Toro wine history dates back to before the Romans and, as the name evokes, has always produced big and bold wines from pre-philloxera vines. Legend has it that it was Toro wines that accompanied Columbus on his journey to discover America.

In the last twenty¬† years Toro has experienced a complete revitalization, with many high-profile wineries such as Vega Sicilia investing in the area. It was in the year 2000, almost a decade before the giant group Louis Vouitton Moet & Chandon recognized the region’s potential, that Bodega Dos Victorias was born. Headed by Victoria Benavides, the winery carries its prior proprietor name, Elias Mora. Today Elias Mora is one of the best examples of traditional wine making in Spain.

Victoria Benavides with enologist Vanesa Perez Martinez produce wines from 100% free standing, very old Tinta de Toro bushes that grow on sandy soils covered with rocks. Hard to imagine that anything would thrive in this near-desert environment, but the native grape- a local variant of Tempranillo– loves it. That along with the altitude, harsh winters and short dry summers, yield a concentrated potion of ripe dark fruit, beautiful complex balance and eternal finish. No wonder every wine has achieved over 90 points from all critics and publications.