The soil is made up of sand sediment, clay and calcareous conglomerates from the Pliocene, which cause brown limestone topsoils on loose material. The materials alternate from loamy materials to large and fine grain sand, with limestone and detrytic marl formed during the Miocene.The height above sea level of the vineyards stands between 620 m and 750 m, and the soils belong to the Tertiary Era.
The area of this Designation is characterised by an extreme dry continental climate influenced by the Atlantic. All these climatic conditions, extreme cold in winter, many hours of sunshine, etc. give the grapes exceptional quality, which is essential for making good wines.
TINTA DE TORO
This is the autochthonous variety par excellence, and hardly any information is available regarding its origins. It is thought that the Romans (210 B.C.) were the true promoters of viticulture in the Duero basin, after having invaded the Vacceo territory and destroying the town in its entirety under the command of the Carthaginian general Hannibal.
The 11th January 1505 saw the proclamation of the 83 laws in Toro, seat as it was to the Courts; a town which, centuries later, was to become the provincial capital. Many are the documents which govern, regulate and recognise the growing of the vine and its economic importance to the city. Due to its characteristics, which made it indomitable during long voyages, the Toro wine sailed to baptise the New World.
After the phyloxera had come to Spain in 1870, vine growing was greatly reconverted, and it is in Toro where the Tinta de Toro variety anchored its roots in loose well-drained sandy lands, and the multiplication of the ungrafted vineyards have been conserved to this very day. At present, Toro has its own Oenological Station in the town, offering technical services to current wine growing demands. On 26th may 1933, Toro was awarded its Designation of Origin (Issue 4 of the Gazette, June 1933).
In 1990, the Junta de Castilla y León was involved in a clonal selection and vine sanitation plan, recovering and multiplying the autochthonous varieties of the Autonomous Community. Among these varieties is the Tinta de Toro, which is currently certified as an autochthonous variety, with its own name and well defined agronomous and ampelographic characteristics. It is commercialised under a blue label and its corresponding clone number.