End of Summer Sipper: Rueda, Spain’s Verdejo

Looking for a new white wine to try in the final month of summer? If you like Sauvignon Blanc, I’d suggest checking out Verdejo from the Rueda region of Spain.

This Spanish wine region northwest of Madrid, the Denomination of Origin (D.O.) Rueda, was approved by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1980. The production area is located in the Region of Castilla y León and consists of 74 towns and villages. The major grape variety is Verdejo and it’s origins date back to the 11th century.

White wine varieties make up the majority of Rueda’s vineyard landscape (approx. 98% of total plantings) and Verdejo makes up 85% of those white grapes. The growing soil is located on a high, flat plateau, which makes for cooler growing conditions and a longer season. The cold climate of the evenings preserves the lively acidity that characterizes the wines.

 There is only one D.O. in the region of Rueda, which is “Rueda D.O.” Within the D.O. there are many styles of wine, and these styles each get their own back label as an identification seal.

Albariño often comes to mind for people thinking of Spanish white wine. But Rueda is gaining in exposure and popularity. As a Sauvignon Blanc fan, I love the Verdejo discovery. It’s fresh, zesty and very reasonably priced!

Oro de Castilla Verdejo 2013

Variety: 100% Verdejo
Aroma: Grassy citrus
Taste: Pear and melon with herbal citrus notes
Price: $14.99
My thoughts: This wine is made in the classic style and has been called “a textbook Verdejo” showcasing the wine’s bright, fresh and mineral flavors. Highly recommend this 100% unoaked wine especially as an aperitif.

Finca Montepedroso Verdejo 2013

Variety: 100% Verdejo
Aroma: Apricot and green apple
Taste: Grapefruit, lichi and peach
Price: $17.99
My thoughts: This wine is a bit bigger and complex giving it a richer flavor, probably due to the five months it sits on the lees. Great food wine.

Salud to a great end of summer sipper, Verdejo from the Rueda region of Spain!