Toro!toro!toro! – sippin’ on the bull at the LIWF, video
Tinta de Toro. Wine of the Bull? Is that like the Hungarian wine, Bull’s blood? The origins of the name may be lost in the mists of time but I can tell you that tinta de toro is a local varietal found in the western half of Spain, near the town of Zamora. It’s thought that the varietal is an adaptation of that traditional Spanish varietal, tempranillo. Tempranillo does go by so many names, ojo de liebre, tinto fino, tinto del pais, ulle de llebre and tinto roriz (in Portugal) to name a few.
The province of Zamora, where the D.O. Toro is located is in the extreme western part of the region of Castillo Y Leon in western Spain, near the border with Portugal. As a matter of fact, the river Duero (or Douro as it’s known in Portugal) cuts through the region. The D.O.Toro vineyards are in the southeastern part of the province. The region was demarcated in 1987 but they’ve been growing grapes there since Roman times and the wines were quite prized during the Middle Ages and beyond, even being sent on ships to the New World to sustain the conquistadores on the tough job of subduing the natives. There are currently 8000 hectares under cultivation. Toro is best known for it’s tinta de toro but they also grow malvasia, garnacha and the white varietal, verdejo. The Tinta de Toro red wines are known for being lusher and richer versions of tempranillo due to the vineyards more southernly situation.
Whilst wandering around the London International Wine Fair with Gabriella of Catavino, we came across the Munia brand of tinto de toro and decided to give them a try, the video says it all….