The most internationally well known sheep is the merino of Australia which came originally from Spain. The climate in Spain was ideal for rearing sheep and the merino was developed in Tanaconensis, some two thousand years ago, by crossing the Tarentine with the Laodicean from Asia Minor. See Appendix: British breeds of sheep.
A breed of sheep producing very fine wool. The merino was first raised in Spain. Australian merino wool is used in some rugs from Iran and India. "Manchester" is merino wool processed in Manchester, England.
The merino is the most numerous breed of sheep in the world. It is a breed prized for its wool, although more recently the low price of wool has led to more of an emphasis on carcass (meat) characteristics. Super fine merinos are regarded as having the finest and softest wool of any sheep.