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.
This D.O. falls within the influence of the river Duero and is situated on a high plateau of gentle hills. Made up of 72 districts located in the provinces of Valladolid, Segovia and Ávila. The D.O. Rueda stands 700 to 800 metres above sea-level, and consists of flat highlands, with very long, cold winters, short springs with late frosts, and dry, hot summers, only altered by untimely storms.
The area has alluvial and flood terraces on the banks of the river Duero. Its grey-brown soils, rich in calcium and magnesium, stony but easy to farm, with good ventilation and draining, and limestone outcrops on the hilltops. Permeable and healthy, their texture varies from sandy-loamy to loamy
The Denomination of Origin Rueda is one of the few European winegrowing regions specialised in making white wine and in the preservation and development of the Verdejo, the autochthonous grape variety.
Rueda wines are marked by the strong personality of the Verdejo grape but other varieties have been incorporated: Sauvignon Blac, Viura y Palomino Fino.
The red varieties allowed are: Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot y Garnacha.
- Rueda Verdejo: At least 85%, but normally they are made with 100%, of Verdejo grape. Dry wines, with a minimum alcohol content of 11.5°
- Rueda: At least 50% of Verdejo grape, with a minimum alcohol content of 11°-
- Rueda Sauvignon: At least 85% of Sauvignon Blanc grape, with a minimum alcohol content of 11°.
- Rueda Espumoso: Made according to the traditional method, consisting of a second fermentation in the bottle and a period of aging in the bottle of no less than 9 months. 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°
- 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°.
- Rueda Rosé: At least 50% of the red varieties authorized, with a minimum alcohol contest of 11°. Its optimum serving temperature is 8°C.
- Sparkling Rosé: At least 50% of the red varieties authorized. Made according to the traditional method, consisting of a second fermentation in the bottle and a period of aging in the bottle of no less than 9 months. Minimum of alcohol content of 11,5°
- Unoaked Red: Wines with no ageing process
- Crianza: Wines with an ageing process of no less than 24 months, at least 6 months of which must be spent in oak barrels.
- Reserva: Matured in oak barrels and in the bottle for a total period of at least 36 months; the ageing process in the barrel lasts 12 months.
- Gran Reserva: Long maturation process of at least 24 months in oak barrels and 36 months in the bottle.