Region Profile : Rueda, Spain

Rueda Verdejo

A small but fascinating wine region about 2 hours North West of Madrid (one that I visited very recently and tasted a number of good wines). It’s a wine region best known for its dry and aromatic white wines, largely made from the indigenous grape variety Verdejo. Summers are dry and hot with falling night time temperatures that help the grapes retain their acidity/ freshness (key for good white wines). The production area (DO Rueda established 1980) consists of 74 towns and villages with the focus being within the boundaries of the villages of La Seca, Rueda and Serrada. Other white grape varieties can be found, including Sauvignon Blanc, Viura and Palomino Fino, but Verdejo is the real star. The origins of this particular grape date back to the 11th century and the grape is loved by many for its unique flavour, with hints of herbs and fruit, together with an excellent level of acidity and its characteristic ‘bitter’ bite on the palate. All this makes for an enticing and very quaffable wine. The majority of which are powerful and elegant with the focus on this lovely full fresh fruit (similar in style perhaps to a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc though not as gooseberry in profile), though one other style produced are wines that are barrel fermented. These latter wines have a strong/er personality that are well structured and ideal for pairing with food (try with food such as salads, simply grilled fish or sublime with crab fishcakes!). Definitely one of the best white wines made in Spain and well worth trying!

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