Situated in northwestern Spain, Castilla y Léon is the largest autonomía (autonomous region) in the country. Castilla y León is known for its traditional beauty, plentiful fortifications, and historical importance. This area was dubbed the Kingdom of Castles due to hundreds of forts, castles, and patrolled walls defining the landscape.
Castilla y León has been home to princes, noblemen, intellectuals, artists, and brilliant military minds since the Romans constructed the famed Segovian Aqueduct. The oldest university in Europe has held classes in Salamanca since 1134 (Universidad de Salamanca) and the Duero River (Douro in Portugal) has been a perennial causeway to transport goods. By maintaining a foothold in the united kingdoms of Castilla and León, Ferdinand and Isabella successfully finished their Reconquista of Spain in 1492.
Granted Denominación de Origen status in 2007, Arribes covers a narrow strip of Spain’s Castilla y Léon region, skirting the banks of the Duero river. The distinct geology and topography of the area produces red wines classified as Tinto Joven, Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva. Along with the local favourite, Juan García, other prominent grapes include Tempranillo, Garnacha and Rufete. White wines produced under the Arribes DO label must comprise at least 60% Malvasía Castellana.
With a viticultural history dating back to Roman times, Tierra de León covers a comparatively large area of Castilla y León, with vines grown at altitudes in excess of nine-hundred metres. Alluvial soils, abundant sunshine and a significant diurnal temperature variation, produce wines of structure and balance, which can be consumed in their youth or laid down in the cellar. Red wines are made principally from Prieto Picudo or Mencía; whites from Albariño, Godello and Verdejo.
Originally granted Denominación de Origen status in 1933, Toro’s winemaking suffered during and after the Spanish Civil War, rendering the designation obsolete until a new one was established in the late 1980s. Today the area is known for its full bodied, concentrated wines from the Tinta de Toro (Tempranillo) grape, whilst a small amount of Garnacha - mostly used in Toro Rosado - and an even tinier amount of white varieties, Malvasía Blanca and Verdejo, are also grown.