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Wines from Rueda

A pioneering Wine Region in Castile and León

Rueda, which is lying in the Castile and León region, is producing some breathtaking wines. If you’re a wine lover, you should have tried Spanish wines at least once.

Within Spain, Castile and León has a leading position in the wine market.

Although there are several DO regions, very few are special to the wine lovers. I’m going to speak about such a DO wine region here.

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And undoubtedly, it’s a pioneering wine region not only in Castile and León but in the whole Spain.

Let’s see what this region has got for us now…

A Quick Look at the History of Winemaking in Rueda

The first evidence of winemaking in Rueda is dating back to as early as the eleventh century during the rule of King Alfonso VI.

During this period several monasteries with their own vineyards were established.

During the eighteenth century, the region had more vineyards than they have today, among all the vineyards been planted with the single grape variety Verdejo.

This varietal earned a great reputation and commercial hit during those times. Between the years 1890 and 1922, the vineyards of Rueda faced the phylloxera attack and lost about two-thirds of its vines.

Then, the region was recovered from this attack by replanting the vines through grafting process.

Although the idea of lifting the region to DO status arose in the year 1935, the required investments were not made until 1972. The official DO was acquired by Rueda in the year 1980.

Location and Geography of Rueda DO

As mentioned earlier, this region is located within the community of Castile and León. We can describe this region as the heart of the Iberian Peninsula.

For the wine travellers, it’s located just northwest of Madrid.

The landscape of the region is found to be wilder and the soils here are low in nutrients. So, let’s say that vines and cereals are the only crops to be grown here.

The local soils contain lime and iron elements and are favourable for vine cultivation. They are stony and free-draining in nature too!

The major source of irrigation to the vineyards of Rueda is the Duero River. The climatic conditions in Rueda are continental meaning summers are hot and dry and winters are cold.

The drier summer days which are followed by the cooler nights are found to be refreshing the vines and are helping to retain the acidity levels.

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Description of Rueda DO

As I stated above, Verdejo is the key variety in the Rueda DO wines.

Of the total 13,000 hectares of vineyards in Rueda wine region, almost 90% is planted with this grape variety. Such is the importance of Verdejo in Rueda.

As per the Spanish wine appellation laws, the standard type of Rueda Blanco must contain at least 50% of this grape variety.

In the recent times, the varietal wines like Rueda Verdejo and Rueda Sauvignon have been added to the wine portfolio of Rueda.

These varietal wines should contain a minimum of 85% of the respective grape varieties. Besides these, a sparkling wine is also there in the portfolio. It’s called Rueda Espumoso.

The region is still producing some fortified wines, but only in smaller quantities. The popular one is called Rueda Dorada, which is subjected to oxidative aging for at least two years in barrels.

The colour of these wines will be golden with aromas of nuts and rancio. There is another lighter version of these fortified wines called Rueda Palido.

Wine Grapes in Rueda

Again, Verdejo is the major grape variety being cultivated here. However, we can also find the following grape varieties in smaller levels:

  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Viura
  • Palomino Fino
  • Tempranillo
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Merlot
  • Garnacha

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Author

Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam

Winewriter

I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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