Wines of Rueda – Spain’s Best-Kept Secret
What is the most popular white wine consumed in Spain? Well surprisingly, astute Spanish wine drinkers favour the white Wines of Rueda. The Wine Show is absolutely thrilled to share with you these wonderful young, fresh, crisp white wines from Northern Spain. They’re quite honestly the region’s best kept secret. If you’re a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, then you’re really going to love white wines from Rueda.
Rueda is a village and municipality in the province of Valladolid part of the autonomous community of Castile-Leon, Spain. It’s one of Spain’s leading wine regions and is known primarily for its white wines based on the Verdejo grape.
The first confirmation of wine production in this area dates from the 11th century, when King Alfonso VI offered title and lands to settlers in the recently reconquered area. Many individuals and monastic orders accepted the offer and founded monasteries with their own vineyards. Canny monks always focus on life’s priorities.
During the 18th century the land planted to vines was almost exclusively planted with the Verdejo grape variety. The area is extremely high (about 750m high) and experiences extreme variations in temperature. The vines have to withstand brutally freezing cold winters, and the baking hot summers send the vine roots deep into the earth to leach moisture from the rocks. It’s so hot that Verdejo is harvested at night to allow the grapes to cool from the scorching summer heat.
A DO (Denominación de Origen. A Spanish term denoting quality wine from a designated area.) was considered back in 1935. However, it wasn’t until 1972 when there was a major investment that resulted in quality wine production, that the DO appellation was once more sought. DO status was acquired in 1980.
There are 44,700 acres of vineyards in Rueda. The area has 69 wineries and is cultivated by over 1500 growers. To be labelled as ‘Rueda’, wines must contain at least 50 percent of the principal grape varieties that are produced in the region (Verdejo & Sauvignon Blanc).
Rueda white wines are crisp and fresh and are superb with food. The Verdejo can be paired with almost anything whether it’s seafood and shellfish, chicken or cheese, pizza or something smoky from the BBQ. It has the ability of cutting through the richness while still complimenting the lightness and subtlety of your dishes.
So put your favourite Sauvignon Blanc to one side for the moment and try one of the Rueda wines.
After all, the Spanish locals can’t be wrong, can they?
Join Joe Fattorini on The Wine Show @ HOME this Thursday 10th September at 7pm as he samples three delightful Wines from Rueda. He will be tasting:
Discover more at Wines of Rueda here