DENOMINATION OF ORIGIN
The Denomination of Origin Rueda was approved by the Ministry of Agriculture on January
12, 1980; it was the first Denomination of Origin to be approved in the Region of Castilla
y León, after years of hard work in order to earn acknowledgement and protection for its
autochthonous grape variety: the Verdejo.
The Denomination of Origin Rueda possesses exceptional natural resources for the production
of top-quality wines, specialised in making internationally renowned white wines. In addition,
red and rosés are being protected by the D.O. Rueda since the 5th of August, 2008, a time
when the current D.O. Rueda Regulations were published in the Official Gazette of Castilla y
The production area included in the Denomination of Origin Rueda is located in the Region
of Castilla y León and consists of 72 towns and villages, 53 of which are located south of the
province of Valladolid, 17 to the west of Segovia, and 2 north of Ávila.
4 THE “RUEDA” CHARACTER
12 MAP OF THE D.O. RUEDA
6 WHITE VARIETIES
14 THE VINEYARD
8 RED VARIETIES
16 BACK LABELS AND TYPES OF WINES
10 THE RUEDA WINES
21 THE REGULATORY COUNCIL
The Verdejo grape has been grown in
the Denomination of Origin Rueda for
over centuries. It has a unique flavour,
with a hint of scrub herbs, a fruity touch
and an excellent level of acidity. The
“THE RUEDA extract, a key factor when assessing
The D.O. Rueda is located in the central area of the depression
formed by the river Duero, on a smooth plateau blown by Atlantic
CHARACTER: A the personality of great white wines,
winds. The area has alluvial and flood terraces on the banks
is perceived through its volume and of the river Duero and its tributaries, the rivers Trabancos,
COMBINATION OF its characteristic bitter touch, which
leaves a glint of originality in the mouth,
Zapardiel and Adaja.
Dark grey-brown soils, rich in calcium and magnesium, stony but
The D.O. Rueda stands 700 to The difference between day and
800 metres above sea-level, night temperatures is key to the VERDEJO GRAPES, accompanied by a rich fruity expression.
These wines are harmonious, and their
easy to farm, with good ventilation and draining, and limestone
outcrops on the hilltops. Permeable and healthy, their texture
and consists of flat highlands, balance the grape must have
with very long, cold winters, between the sugar provided aftertaste invites to go on drinking. varies from sandy-loamy to loamy.
short springs with late frosts, by the sun and the acidity it The pH level of the soil is between 7 and 8. On the surface,
and dry, hot summers, only
altered by untimely storms.
does not lose during the cooler
nights. Sun exposure reaches
WEATHER AND this geological substratum has gradually evolved into dark
grey-brown soils on autochthonous stony deposits, which, in
This factor forces the vines 2,600 hours a year, which would GRAVELLY SOILS”
turn, have led to the typical “gravelly” soils present in the best
to search for their water be too much were it not for the vineyards in the D.O. Rueda.
resources deep underground, late maturation of the grape.
much more so than in other
In terms of latitude, the
Rueda region is located within
Plants flower late, with pruning the Mediterranean area. Its
taking place as late as March, altitude, however, corresponds
sometimes even April. Rain is to that of a continental region.
scarce, with minimum levels of
300 litres and maximum levels
of 500 litres per year.
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.
It is believed that it dates back to This vine, known as Macabeo in Catalonia, has a medium-large pentagonal leaf,
Alfonso VI times (16th century), with a scratchy, hairy back. The clusters are medium or large and the berries are
varieties but we have no evidence of that.
Cantabrians, Vascons and Mozarabs
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
THE DENOMINATION OF ORIGIN RUEDA IS repopulated the Duero basin at that extra lightness and a touch of acidity.
ONE OF THE FEW EUROPEAN WINEGROWING time. Most probably were Mozarabs
REGIONS SPECIALISED IN MAKING WHITE who brought Verdejo variety to Spain.
WINE AND IN THE PRESERVATION AND
DEVELOPMENT OF THE VERDEJO, THE
The vine has a small-medium size sauvignon blanc
pentagonal leaf, with a medium-sized
AUTOCHTHONOUS GRAPE VARIETY. This variety, which originated from France’s Loire region, was brought to Spain in the
petiolar sinus which hardly opens
1970’s. It adds a floral element to the wine, with scents of grapefruit and passion
RUEDA WINES ARE MARKED BY THE STRONG out, a hairless back, and nerves
fruit, as opposed to the flinty touch of the Loire’ Sauvignon, a difference due mainly
and petiole with little or no hair.
PERSONALITY OF THE VERDEJO GRAPE, THE to a greater exposure to the sun compared with the Loire region and Bordeaux.
The clusters (racemes) are medium-
INCORPORATION OF OTHER VARIETIES, AND However, they share the same short growth period, which in the French region
sized, with a very short stem. The
THE VINEYARDS THEMSELVES, WHICH HAVE is due to the northern latitude and, in Castile, to the region’s altitude.
berries are also medium-sized,
LEARNED TO SURVIVE IN A TOUGH, ALMOST short, usually spherical or elliptical,
It has a small, pentagonal leaf, small, compact clusters and a broad elliptical
HOSTILE, ENVIRONMENT IN ORDER TO GIVE and the seeds tend to be somewhat
berry which ripens faster than the others. The D.O. Rueda pioneered the
THEIR BEST TO THE WINE. large, and can easily be seen when
adoption of this French variety, bringing a modern and international character
the grape is held up to the light.
to the region.
List of registered area per variety palomino fino
In the 30s, wine growers began to plant Palomino Fino variety in the area, which was the
verdejo basis for making rich flor wines. This variety, which produces more yields than any other,
can be optimal to produce wines similar to Jerez’s which were very demanded back then.
For this reason, it was the most extended variety in the Medina area back then (Rueda Control
viura Board does not allow new plantations of this variety any more as its neutral character does not
lend the appropriate characteristics as to make today’s’ quality wines).
6 sauvignon blanc
It has medium-large leaves, medium-large clusters, a fruit bigger than the Verdejo, and golden, 7
Medium-large, cylindrical, compact, winged cluster. Small, round, blue-
black berries with a soft pulp. Large pentagonal leaves, with a dark green,
almost black front and a velvety back.
varieties THE DENOMINATION OF
ORIGIN RUEDA, WIDELY
At some point a process of selection must ACKNOWLEDGED FOR
have taken place, favouring the production ITS WHITE WINES, ALSO
of white wine over red wine. This may have
MAKES RED WINES.
been due to the area’s location between two Small, cylindrical, compact, sometimes winged clusters.
regions, Toro and Ribera del Duero, which THIS AREA HAS A Small, round, very dark blue berries, with a slightly herbal
produce mainly red wine, and the strong HISTORICAL TRADITION flavour. Medium-sized leaves, orbicular-pentagonal in shape,
demand for generous wines in the 16th and with sharp sinuses.
OF RED GRAPE VINEYARDS,
17th centuries, when those were the wines
ESPECIALLY BEFORE THE
drunk at Court.
DEVASTATING PLAGUE OF
The devastating plague of Phylloxera might PHYLLOXERA IN THE LATE 19TH
also have led to the virtual disappearance CENTURY.
of red vines, leading to the absolute
predominance of white varieties.
The varieties authorized for winemaking have adapted
perfectly to the area and demonstrated their qualities for Medium, long, conical clusters with little compactness.
the elaboration of top-quality wines. Medium, broad, elliptical, dark blue berries. Large to
medium pentagonal leaves, with a dark green front and
a scratchy back.
List of registered area per variety
Very compact, winged, pyramidal, trunk-like medium cluster. Medium, round,
dark violet berry, with a juicy, colourless pulp. Medium, pentagonal leaves with
very faint lateral sinuses.
THE OLD RUEDA WINES
WERE THE FIRST
ONES TO BE PRICED IN
DIRECT PROPORTION THE TIMES HAVE CHANGED. TODAY, PROVENANCE
AND ORIGIN-RELATED ISSUES PREVAIL OVER
TO THEIR AGE. MOST
ALCOHOLIC CONTENT AND AGING TIME.
OF THE WINES WERE
SOLD YOUNG, EVEN Grapes are harvested when they are at just the right
point of maturity, an important factor for winemaking.
THE JEREZ WINES,
The mechanised grape harvesting process avoids Another example of these “new times”, and an
WHICH, UNTIL THE 18TH the oxidation of the must, and a large part of the attempt to provide the market with still another
CENTURY, LEFT THE harvesting therefore takes place at night, with no choice in the wide variety of Rueda wines, is the
sunlight to oxidise the must. The grapes enter the barrel fermentation carried out by some wine cellars
PORT OF CÁDIZ FOR
cellars at 10-15ºC, as opposed to September’s daytime in the D.O. Rueda, which produces well-structured
ENGLAND IMMEDIATELY temperatures of 24-28ºC. Fermentation takes place wines with a strong personality, offering consumers
AFTER FERMENTATION. in stainless steel containers fitted with temperature a plethora of sensations.
the Rueda wines
control devices, cold-treatment machines in some
SOME 16TH CENTURY
cases, and vacuum filters that clean the must without
DOCUMENTS MAKE A taking away the nutrients necessary for the yeasts. The
DISTINCTION BETWEEN wine is now clean and pale, having been filtered and
In the late 1970’s, Rueda wine was a tasty, warm, smooth wine, with a rustic having undergone quick cold decantations.
TRASAÑEJO (VERY OLD)
touch. As a luxury wine there was the Dorado, reminiscent of the generous
white wines of the Golden Age, considered the official Court wine under the AND AÑEJO (MORE Three months later the wine has taken on a slightly “THE SAVOIR FAIRE OF
Catholic Monarchs. yellowish colour, with a youthful, greenish hue, and
THAN ONE YEAR) WINES,
has a fresh, fruity aroma and flavour. We now reach THE WINEMAKERS AND
WHEREAS THE NEW
The wine is renowned for its mellowness, and a Royal Decree of 1911 the crucial stage of bottling, Rueda Verdejo wine’s
declared that the wine of Tierra de Medina was a special wine, “similar to WINE IS CALLED MOSTO claim to fame: an unaged harvest wine, the result of a THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
the wine made in Jerez and Málaga”. completely aseptic process and the implementation of
state-of-the-art technology, with the Verdejo grape full STATE-OF-THE-ART
of primary, powerful, elegant aromas.
TWO KEY FACTORS FOR
A TOP-QUALITY WINE”
map of D.O. Rueda
Maximum productions permitted per hectare:
the vineyard Average age of the vineyard
White Varieties (Wire-Trained Vines)
Sauvignon The implementation of state-of-the-art winegrowing
Verdejo Viura technologies and European aid for the restructuring
10.000 kg/ha. 12.000 kg/ha. of vineyards have lead to a major rejuvenation in the
Rueda vineyards. Only the Palomino Fino variety
shows signs of excessive aging, and its neutral
character does not adapt to today’s Rueda wines.
White Varieties (Bushed Vines) The Regulatory Council is therefore not authorising
new plantations of this particular variety, which will
most probably be removed and substituted with
Verdejo Viura Verdejo grapes.
8.000 kg/ha. 10.000 kg/ha.
8.000 kg/ha. 10.000 kg/ha.
Type of harvesting
Every year the Regulatory Council establishes the
harvesting regulations, with a view to improving
the quality of the grapes received, encouraging
7.000 kg/ha. a quick delivery of the grape and avoiding long
stays in trailers and any contact with the metallic
parts of the trucks.
The modernisation process experienced by the
PLANTATION DENSITY: D.O. Rueda and the implementation of the appro-
• Bushed Vines: 1,100 vines per hectare (minimum) priate technology in the winepresses have made
• Wire-Trained Vines (*): 2,200 vines per hectare (minimum) it possible to harvest almost 85% of the white
grapes mechanically (this is general practise in
HABITUAL PLANTATION FRAME: 100% of the Sauvignon Blanc production).
• Bushed Vines: 3x3 m frames.
• Wire-Trained Vines: 3x1.5 m frames (with a tendency to reduced spacing among vines). Mechanical harvesting is normally done at night,
thus avoiding the oxidation of the musts (which
happens when the grapes are harvested in broad
TYPE OF PRUNING
daylight at high temperatures) and optimising
Depending on the grape variety and the conduction system employed, the more common pruning types are: the use of cold in the cellars, obtaining musts at
• Short pruning: Viura, Palomino, Tempranillo and Garnacha. temperatures ostensibly lower than those achie-
• Long pruning: ved with daylight harvesting.
-Double Guyot system: Verdejo, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (Wire-Trained Vines)
-Rod: Verdejo (Bushed Vines) For manual harvesting, the grapes must be trans-
14 ported in stainless steel trailers, or protected by
canvasses, avoiding the contact of the must with 15
(*) In order to estimate yields, a “Wire-Trained vines” is being described as a vine training system that shapes a vertical structure consisting of posts and the iron or metal parts of the trailer.
supporting wires. The latter are aligned in at least three wire rows, with a minimum height of 150 cm. from the soil to the top of the post, except for those
vineyards registered in the Control Board before passing the Regulations or those vineyards to be restructured with the “Wire-Trained” system before June
The back label is the seal of identity which informs the
consumer about the origin of the grape and the product’s
quality parameters, established through a strict control
process described in the Regulations of the Regulatory
and types of wine
Council. Each back label has a number and a series in order to
avoid potential falsifications and to control existing wine
The Denomination of Origin Rueda has different types volumes in relation to each batch of classified wine.
of back labels, for the consumer to be able to identify Specific back labels have also been designed for 37.5
its wines. The labels of Denomination of Origin Rueda cl bottles, so as to avoid the unlawful use of the same.
wines must indicate the year of harvesting (except for The back label allows the Technical Services to identify
generous and sparkling wines), allowing consumers to the original batch of the wine and to trace the original
know the vintage of the wine they are drinking. product.
At least 85%, but normally they are made with 100%, of Verdejo
grape. Straw yellow. Great aromatic potential and very elegant scent. Rueda Espumoso (Sparkling)
Fruity aromas with anisette-like and fennel hues. Strong body and Made according to the traditional method, consisting of a second
good palate, with great fruitiness and the bitter touch characteristic fermentation in the bottle and a period of aging in the bottle of no
of this variety. Dry wines, with a minimum alcohol content of 11.5° less than 9 months. By following this method, the Verdejo develops
great fruitiness and smoothness. Dry or semi-dry (at least 50% of
Verdejo) and Brut or Brut Nature (at least 85% of Verdejo). Minimum
alcohol content of 11.5°
At least 50% of Verdejo grape. In this case the properties of the Verdejo
are more diluted, due to the presence of other varieties.Fresh, smooth
and floral, with a minimum alcohol content of 11° Rueda Dorado
Liquor wine, dry, achieved by means of an oxidizing aging
process; must stays in oak barrels for at least two years prior to
its being marketed. Golden colour, with slightly toasted aroma
and flavour due to the long oxidation in oak barrels. Alcohol
content of no less than 15°.
At least 85% of Sauvignon Blanc grape. Great aromatic intensity
and reminiscences of tropical fruits are the main features of this
variety. Agreeable on the palate, it has a long aftertaste with a
minimum alcohol content of 11°.
red and rose wines
the regulatory council
D.O. Rueda also includes the following types of wines:
The Denomination of Origin Rueda was approved on January 12, 1980,
through an Order of the Ministry of Agriculture; it was the first Denomi-
nation of Origin to be approved in the Region of Castilla y León.
The Regulations currently in force are those of the Order of July
Tinto Joven Tinto Crianza 21, 2008 of the Department of Agriculture and Farming of the
Regional Government of Castilla y León, whereby the Regu-
lations governing the Denomination of Origin Rueda and its
Regulatory Council were approved.
D.O. Rueda is, therefore, the first Appellation of Origin in
Castilla y León that revises its Relugations to comply with
the National and Regional Vine and Wine- Growing Regula-
Among other novelties, we underline the fact that red and
Tinto Reserva Tinto Gran Reserva rosé wines are being protected by D.O. Rueda.
Rosado (Rosé) Rosado Espumoso
El control de calidad que
se realiza al calificar los Dissemination and promotion
es una operación
vinosInspection and control One of the main tasks of the Regulatory Council is to provide professionals, the media and the final consumer with spe-
cific information about the distinguishing features of the product, its wine cellars and their wines.
fundamental, si tenemos
The communication campaigns have the aim to trasmit an image of the D.O. Rueda as a guarantee for brands of the
D.O. Rueda wine cellars.
The main mission of the Regulatory Council is to control and ensure compliance with the
norms included in the Regulations of the Denomination of Origin, to which the winemakers
en cuenta que sólo los
The Regulatory Council’s Department of Communication is particularly attentive to the communication media, providing
and wine cellars included in the D.O. are subject, both in the early stages of growing and
relevant explanations, all necessary information and documentation, and also maintaining a transparent and direct
harvesting and in the elaboration, aging and labelling of the wines. The Regulatory Council
channel of communication.
consequently aims to promote and encourage quality through the continuous improve-
vinos que superen los
ment of the wines produced in the region.
The daily duties of the technical inspection team are concerned with different issues: con-
Main Office of the Regulatory Council
trol of the planting of new vines, performance control per land plot, harvest control (hygie-
Address: C/ Real, 8. 47490 Rueda. Valladolid
análisis sensoriales y
ne, origin and variety), wine performance in each wine cellar, methods and times of ela-
Telephone: + 34 983 86 82 48
boration and aging as well as classification of the wines to be bottled. The quality control
General Fax: + 34 983 86 81 35
implemented when classifying the wines is a fundamental operation, bearing in mind that
Communication Department Fax: + 34 983 86 82 19
only those wines successfully subjected to the sensorial and physical-chemical analyses
will be authorised to carry the back label, the true guarantee of the control and origin of
General e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
the product for the consumer.
Communication Department e-mail: email@example.com
autorizados a vestir la
The wines that do not meet the standards the wine-tasting session of the Qualification
Committee, formed by oenologists, sommeliers, government specialists and other pro-
Updated information is always available on our Web page, from most recent statistics and press releases, to a compre-
fessionals (37 people in the D.O. Rueda) are disqualified and will be sold under the “Table
hensive winery list including their data and brands.
wine” or other similar denominations.
garantía de control y
procedencia del producto
para el consumidor.