Spain - Castilla y Léon - Rueda DO

5 important questions on Spain - Castilla y Léon - Rueda DO

The climate of DO Rueda is similar to Toro and Ribera del Duero, what is it? What is different in the style of wines?

  • Continental, inland; hot dry summers, cold winters, low rainfall, vineyards at altitude (700-800m). The cool nights retain the acidity.
  • Mainly white wines are produced!
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Who changed the style of the white oxidative fortified wines of Rueda in the 1970s? And how?

Marqués de Riscal in Rioja; Verdejo for fresh fruity wines by reductive and temperature controlled fermentation in stainless steel tanks.
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What is/are the grape varieties for white Rueda? And why in relation to the climate? Which DO's can be used?

  1. Verdejo; key variety - drought tolerant; m(+) acidity, m alcohol; apple, pear, herbal/fennel and slight bitterness.
  2. Sauvignon blanc; either blended with Verdejo or as sv.


DOs for still dry wines:
  • DO Rueda: min. 50% Verdejo
  • DO Rueda Verdejo: min 85% Verdejo
  • DO Rueda Sauvignon: min 85% Sauvignon blanc
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How is the trellising and planting in Rueda?

  • Mainly (90%) VSP. Easy for mechanisation.
  • Harvest desirable at night, easy for VSP trellised vineyards, coolest time.
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How are the inexpensive, mid-priced and premium wines of Rueda vinified?

  • In General:
    • Cultured yeast is used; reliable, promoting fruit flavours
    • Stainless steel
    • MLF is avoided
  • Inexpensive; reductive, cool fermented, stainless steel
  • mid-priced: few months to 1 year lees ageing and stirring for body and texture
  • premium: fermented and/or matured in oak; body, texture, complexity (toasty, smoky)
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