The Denomination of Origin Rueda is one of the few European winegrowing regions specialised in making white wine and in the preservation and development of the Verdejo, the autochthonous grape variety.
Rueda wines are marked by the strong personality of the Verdejo grape, the incorporation of other varieties, and the vineyards themselves, which have learned to survive in a tough, almost hostile, environment in order to give their best to the wine.Verdejo Grapes
The vine has a small-medium size pentagonal leaf, with a medium-sized petiolar sinus which hardly opens out, a hairless back, and nerves and petiole with little or no hair. The clusters (racemes) are medium-sized, with a very short stem. The berries are also medium-sized, short, usually spherical or elliptical, and the seeds tend to be somewhat large, and can easily be seen when the grape is held up to the light.
Sauvignon Blanc Cluster
This variety, which originated from France’s Loire region, was brought to Spain in the 1970’s. It adds a floral element to the wine, with scents of grapefruit and passion fruit, as opposed to the flinty touch of the Loire’ Sauvignon, a difference due mainly to a greater exposure to the sun compared with the Loire region and Bordeaux. However, they share the same short growth period, which in the French region is due to the northern latitude and, in Castile, to the region’s altitude. It has a small, pentagonal leaf, small, compact clusters and a broad elliptical berry which ripens faster than the others. The D.O. Rueda pioneered the adoption of this French variety, bringing a modern and international character to the region.
Vinura Grape Cluster
With its Rioja reputation, it began to be grown in the 1950’s, when white wines were classically kept in wooden barrels. Since the virtues of the Verdejo had not yet been discovered, this variety gave an aristocratic touch to the Castilian table wines, , and was grown for both full-bodied and popular table wines
This vine, known as Macabeo in Catalonia, has a medium-large pentagonal leaf, with a scratchy, hairy back. The clusters are medium or large and the berries are very round, with a sweet-sour juice. They also ripen more slowly. This grape variety is used in the “Rueda” type wines, together with the Verdejo variety, contributing extra lightness and a touch of acidity.
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