Rueda, a region in Valladolid province, is the most significant and typical ambassador for Castilla y León white wines. It is placed in the very Duero river high plateau, and distributed in 72 municipalities at the south of the Valladolid province, 2 municipalities at the north of Avila province and 17 at the Segovia province. The winemaking area covers a surface of 80 kilometres long by 400 kilometres wide, totalling 8.500 hectares. The great majority of vine plots surround the counties of Rueda, Serrada and La Seca, located at flat lands or with gentle undulations, at 700 to 800 metres of average altitude.
DO Rueda has mostly gravely soils, very typical in this zone, made up by stony deposits on brown earth, poor in organic matter, rich in calcium and magnesium, with good aeration and drainage capacity. Soils texture ranges from sandy to loamy.
Climate in this appellation is continental, with long, cold winters, frequent frosts, short springs and hot, dry summers. The low rainfalls, often falling as tempests, force grapevines to deepen their roots in search of groundwater. Also the high contrast between day and night temperatures and the high sunshine time (2.600 hours per year) enhance a good ripening of Rueda star variety: Verdejo.
The authorised and main varieties in DO Rueda are: Verdejo, Palomino Fino, Sauvignon Blanc and Viura. Verdejo variety, with green-yellow skin has fruity taste and a dense, unmistakable bitter note. As far as red grape varieties are concerned they almost disappeared on the phylloxera grape crisis, but it is still possible to find some Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Garnacha and Tempranillo.
The wines produced at DO Rueda are: Rueda, Rueda Verdejo, Rueda Sauvignon Blanc, Rueda Dorado (fortified wine with oxidative ageing) and Rueda Espumoso (sparkling).