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
Other Authorised White Varieties
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.