Toro is a city that has been a center of winemaking since before the ancient Romans arrived in the area. During the Middle Ages, Toro exported wine all over Spain. According to the lore, Christopher Columbus even had some with him when he sailed to the Americas -- the wine traveled well and could survive such a long sea voyage.
Many fine examples of architecture have survived over the region's long history, including Romanesque and medieval designs. In addition making a name for itself for its strong wines, the region was also known for education. Before it moved to Salamanca, Spain's first university was located in the town of Toro. There are other educational sites in Toro as well, such as a collegiate church called the Colegiata, which dates to the Middle Ages [source: Cellar Tours].
In the 19th century, an insect called phylloxera destroyed vineyards in much of the world. Many of Toro's hardy vines survived the blight, and the region was able to export both wine and grapevines to devastated regions in other parts of Europe.
The Toro DO, which is the label given to vineyards and wines that meet government standards, was established in 1987. In the 1990s, Toro started shipping its wines abroad, first to the United Kingdom. Toro wines are also exported to Canada and the United States.
Read the next page to learn about how the agriculture shaped this region in Spain.