What are the wines of DO Rueda Jane Clare, One Foot in the Grapes

What are the wines of DO Rueda: These nine facts can help

The white wines of Rueda are so vibrant; the flavours so pronounced, the acidity so mouthwatering.

It’s quite a remarkable style considering that the grapes grow inland in the hot, hot summers of Spain.

To understand the wines of DO Rueda, it helps to know the grape varieties, the climate, the land and how the wine is made.

Ah,  you’re saying, that’s true of every wine isn’t it? Well yes, it is.

DO Rueda white wines have tricks up their sleeves to make them what they are.


What are the wines of DO Rueda Picture copyright: DO Rueda
Picture copyright: DO Rueda
Fact 1:~ The place to be

In 2022, there were 75 wineries, 3,000 families and 1,646 wine growers all dedicated to crafting wines in DO Rueda. It was the first appellation in the Castilla y León region and is a little over 100 miles north of Madrid.

Fact 2:~ Going native

Verdejo is the native grape variety of Rueda. It has been planted since the 11th century … just think how many glasses of vino have been sipped in that time! The wine has notes of intense fruit, coupled with fennel and citrus. Wines can be 100% verdejo, or blends.

Fact 3:~ Typically tropical

Sauvignon blanc has been planted and included in DO Rueda wines since the 70s. Don’t expect the powerful punch of New Zealand styles here; it is much more elegant yet still delivers gorgeous tropical notes.  Sauvignon blanc can make up 100% of a wine, or can be a blend mainly with verdejo. Chardonnay and viura are also allowed in DO Rueda blends.

What are the wines of DO Rueda Picture copyright: DO Rueda
Picture copyright: DO Rueda
Fact 4:~Warm days, cool nights

This is the secret to the shivering, vibrancy of DO Rueda wines. There’s a “continental climate” in the region. This means the grapes can bask in the warmth during the day, developing ripe flavours.  At night, temperatures are much cooler, allowing the grapes to relax and retain their good acidity levels.

Fact 5:~High and mighty

The vineyards are between 2,300 and 2,800 feet above sea level, which is high altitude. This also allows the growing grapes to keep good acidity and is an antidote to the hot, hot sun.

Fact 6:~ Sandy saviour

In the late 19th century many European vineyards were devastated by the phylloxera blight. A type of aphid destroyed rootstock. This terroir terror couldn’t cause havoc in sandy soils which exist in pockets of the Rueda region. This means that Rueda has many old vines which yield concentrated fruit. They’re a winemaker’s delight.

What are the wines of DO Rueda Jane Clare, One Foot in the Grapes
Picture copyright: Jane Clare, One Foot in the Grapes
Fact 7:~ Still, my beating heart

White grapes account for 98% of the production of DO Rueda wines, and many of them are still wines. A typical style is from stainless steel fermentation, which protects the character and aromatics of the verdejo and sauvignon blanc varieties.  A wine labelled Gran Vino de Rueda is made from grapes from vineyards over 30 years old, which must have low yields.

Fact 8:~ Barreled beauties

Wines can be barrel-fermented, or barrel-aged, or both. This adds a glorious creamy character to the wine, with highlights of tropical fruits, beeswax and toast. They’re amazing wines.

Fact 9:~ That’s not all folks

Yes, there are black grapes in Rueda, such as tempranillo, garnacha, merlot and cabernet sauvignon. But it is the white wines of Rueda that have captured everybody’s hearts. The DO is second only to Rioja in domestic sales in Spain, and it is the top-selling white in the country.

Jane Clare has been one of two UK ambassadors for DO Rueda in 2023, helping to build awareness around Spain’s leading white wine region. 
Discover more: DO Rueda website 
DO Rueda UK Instagram: @DoRuedaUK

Read more: White Wines Of DO Rueda: All You Need To Know

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