In the early 90's, a group of Rioja winemakers became interested in Toro, convinced that top class wines could be made from the local Tempranillo clone known as Tinta de Toro. The combination of Rioja know-how, modern technology, strict attention to detail and fine old-vines plantings has led Bodegas Sobreño to almost instant success in Spain and on the international scene. Bodegas Sobreño was founded in 1998. Just 7 years later, Bodegas Sobreño has become one of the best-known wineries in the region. The winery owns 1,400 barriques (primarily American oak) and boasts a production capacity of 500,000 bottles/year.
The principal winemaking consultant is Manuel Ruiz Hernández, one of Rioja's most respected enologists.
Finca Sobreño is one of the original winegrowers in the D.O. Toro. Founded by Roberto San Ildefonso in 1998, it was one of less than 10 registered wineries in the appellation, which today counts more than 50 producers. Roberto was originally from Rioja, but left the region when he realized the potential to craft bold, powerful and beautifully structured wines from the Tempranillo clone, Tinta de Toro. This variety produces smaller grapes and with thicker skins than Tempranillo. Among other features, this grape has a higher color concentration, as well as more anthocyanins (which give the wine its aromas) and tannins (which gives structure).
Finca Sobreño currently owns 80 hectares (197 acres) of vineyard, of which about half are vines over 45 years old and divided in many small parcels. In addition, the winery controls 155 hectares of independently owned old-vines plots. The vineyards are 100% Tinta de Toro, pruned "en vaso" (bush vines), as well as double cordon Royat in the newer plantings. Soil types are alluvial with a thick clay subsoil, and a mix of sand and gravel. Yields are quite low, averaging about 4,000 kg/hectare.
Many of the vines are ungrafted, in other words, they are planted directly on ungrafted root-stock, thus allowing the vines to live for a long period of time.