RUEDA Regulatory Board

Grape varieties


The Rueda Designation of Origin is one of the few European vineyard areas specialised in making white wine and in the protection and development of its native varietal, Verdejo.

The robust personality of Verdejo., the inclusion ofother grape varieties, and the vineyards that have learnt to survive in a harsh, almost hostile environment, to give the very best of themselves – this is what defines the wines from Rueda.

Main White Varietals


The leaf is medium-small in size and pentagon-shaped, with a medium-sized petiolar sinus that hardly opens, a hairless back, and nerves and petioles with little or no hair. The bunches are medium in size with a very short stem. The berries are also medium-sized, usually spherical, or elliptical and short, and the seeds tend to be somewhat large and can be easily seen when the grape is held up to the light.


It has a small, pentagonal leaf; small, compact bunches and a broad elliptical berry that ripens faster than the other whites in the region.

Other Authorised White Varieties


This variety, also known as Macabeo in Catalonia, has a medium to large pentagonal leaf with a scratchy, hairy back. The bunches are medium or large, and the berries are very round with a sweet-sour juice. They also ripen more slowly than Verdejo.


A variety with a small pentagonal leaf and pronounced lateral lobes, a dark green stem, and downy on the underside. Small, compact, cylindrical bunches. Spherical, medium-sized berry with a greenish-yellow colour


This varietal has medium-large leaves, medium-large bunches, bigger grapes than Verdejo, and golden, waxy berries.


Medium-sized, pentagonal,tri-lobed leaf with very faint lateral sinuses, a light green stem, and hairless underside. A small, very compact, short bunch with a cylindrical shape and a small, spherical berry with a clear amber colour.

The Palomino Fino grape was introduced to the area in the 1930s. This higher-yielding variety was traditionally used for the production of fortified, flor-aged wines similar to Sherry wines, which in those days were in great demand. For this reason, Palomino Fino became the most widely planted grape in the region of Medina del Campo at that time (The Rueda Regulatory Board does not permit new plantings of this variety). It produces light wines with low acidity that are perfect for biological ageing.

The Viura grape perhaps best-known for being Rioja’s white varietal, Viura was introduced into Rueda in the 1950s at a time when white wine was traditionally aged in wooden barrels. The potential of Verdejo had yet to be discovered, and Viura provided a touch of class to the local white wines of the day, which were enjoyed as both fortified wines and popular, everyday-drinking wines.

The Sauvignon Blanc grape, originally from France’s Loire region, was introduced into Spain in the 1970s. It brings a floral element, together with notes of grapefruit and passion fruit, rather than the flinty character found in the Loire Sauvignon Blanc. This difference is due mainly to the greater number of sunshine hours in Rueda, compared with areas such as the Loire Valley or Bordeaux. However, they share the same short vine-growing cycle, which in France is determined by the area’s northern latitude and in Castile by the region’s altitude. The DO Rueda is a pioneer in the adoption of this French varietal, which gives the region a modern, international character.

The Viognier grape was authorised in 2019, this varietal brings stone fruit aromas, honey and touches of Muscat.

Teh Chardonnay grape was authorised for planting in the region in 2019, it is a variety with medium-low aromatic intensity that brings ripe fruit aromas to the wines. With some age, it can have a buttery, nutty quality.


The DO Rueda has gained worldwide recognition for the excellent quality of its white wines, but it also produces fine reds.

Throughout history, and particularly up to the Phylloxera plague at the end of the 19th century, Rueda has always produced red wines.

The authorised red grape varieties have adapted perfectly to the area and proved capable of producing wines of the highest quality.


Main Red Varietal


Medium-large, cylindrical, compact, winged bunches. Small, round, blue-black berries with a soft pulp. Large pentago- nal leaves with a dark green, almost black front and a velvety back.

Other Authorised Red Varieties


Very compact, winged, pyramidal, medium-sized bunches. Medium, round, dark purple berries with a juicy, colourless pulp. Medium, pentagonal leaves with very faint lateral sinuses.


Medium, long, conical bunches, loose, not compact. Medium, broad, elliptical, dark blue berries prone to “coulure” (shattered berries). Large to medium, pentagonal leaves with a dark green front and a rough underside.


Small, cylindrical, compact, sometimes winged bunches. Small, round, very dark blue-black berries, with a slightly herbaceous flavour. Medium-sized leaves, orbicular-pentagonal in shape with sharp sinuses.


Medium-sized, pentagonal, downy, green leaf with marked lobes, up to seven. Medium-sized, compact, cylindrical bunches. Medium, elliptical berries with a blue-black colour.