Both Bodegas Fariña and the town where it is based, Casasecas de las Chanas, have a long history with wine production in the region. The town has about 350 residents most of whom are involved in the wine industry in some way. Bodegas Fariña was founded in 1942 and remains a family run winery. The Fariña family are known as one of the founding Fathers of the D.O. Toro.
The Toro wine region is based along the River Duero in Zamora in Castilla Leon. It was given Denominación de Origen status in 1933 but its wine credentials go back a long way. It was one of the few regions in Europe to escape the phylloxera virus through its local grape variety Tinta de Toro, a clone of Tempranillo.
An Atlantic climate with high temperature differences between summer/winter and day/night, Tinta de Toro traditionally produced full bodied red wines with high alcohol (16-17%) and high tannin levels. This made the wines fairly rough tasting by modern standards (and this can still be the case with some of the poorer made wines). However it also made the wine perfect for colonies as the alcohol and tannins preserved the wine during the long journeys in the days before air travel and refrigeration. Toro wines were particularly sought after by the Dutch and its royal family.
But tastes change and in the 1970s the Fariña family were one of the first to realise that the Toro wines needed to adapt to the modern world. They worked on methods to reduce the alcohol levels and produce more rounded and balanced wines whilst remaining faithful to the local Tinta de Toro varietal.
In part due to their pioneering work D.O. Toro is regaining its reputation on the international wine stage.