This wine region lies at the heart of Spain in the province of Valladolid about 170 kilometres north west of Madrid. This is the home of the Verdejo grape, used to produce one of Spain’s most famous white wines.
The D.O. is situated around the town of Rueda on a flat high altitude plateau at about 600 to 780 metres. The climate is a continental one with hot summers and cold winters mitigated by maritime breezes from the Atlantic. The Duero River runs through the region and the soils are rich alluvial with sand, gravel and clay sub soils. The grape varieties permitted here include Verdejo, Viura and Sauvignon Blanc for the whites and Tempranillo, Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for the reds.
However, it is the white wine, produced from the Verdejo grape that has really stolen the show in Rueda. Although historically a wine producing region for centuries due to the proximity to the towns of Segovia and Valladolid, it is only in the last 20 years or so that the Verdejo grape has been taken seriously, being picked often at night and fermented at cold temperatures to avoid oxidation. In Rueda wines, it must make up 50% of the blend with small amounts of Sauvignon and Viura being used. It was the first of the Castilla y Leon appellations to be granted the D.O. in 1980.
The wine has great naturally acidity and vivacity, coupled quite unusually with a rich body and flavours of citrus, melon and lime flowers. Above all the wine has great minerality, which makes it a very attractive food wine for shellfish, mussels, ceviche and tapas.