Rueda on the plains of Castilla Y Leon
Rueda on the plains of Castilla Y Leon, was producing white wine for centuries before the dreaded phylloxera vastatrix arrived and destroyed most of the vineyards. Up to that tome, Rueda produced fortified wines in the style of sherry, but after the devastation, growers decided to plant along with verdejo (the local indigenous grape) sauvignon blanc.
In 1970’s, Marques de Riscal winery from Rioja decided to plant a vineyard and hired Emile Peynaud, from Bordeaux, a reputed consultant. At that time few wineries existed. Emile Peynaud, with capital from the Marques de Riscal, researched and recommended new techniques to produce “fresh”, refreshing, dry, low alcohol wines.
Rueda enjoys a continental climate (cold winters with dry and hot summers). The soils are gravelly, with limestone. Because of the relatively high altitude of 700 – 800 metres above sea level, the hot climate is mitigated.
Five per cent of the vienyards are devoted to red grapes, mainly tempranillo. Presently, 13,000 hectares are under vines, yielding 100,000 tones of fruit to supply 70 wineries. In Spain, millions enjoy Rueda wines with tapas, and their meals.
Rueda wines alcohol levels range from 12 – 12, 5 per cent ABV, are dry, off dry, and sherry style. Recently, the Rueda North American representative made a presentation of region’s wines in Toronto’s Patria restaurant.
Marques de Caceres Exellens, 2014 was impressive with its balance and ripe fruit (88+/100), followed by Verdejo, 2014 from Finca Montepedroso (87), Selecion Personal Carlos Moro Fermentada en Barrica, 2009 by Bodegas Eminas, Robert Vedel Cepas Viejas, 2013 by Bodegas Herrero Vedel, Vina 65, 2014, by Grupo Yllera (87), Monasterio de Palazuelos Sauvignon Blanc, 2014 (88), De Alberto Dorado (sherry style) (87), Vina Clavidar (88) by Grupo Yllera, sparkling wine was refreshing and balanced.
None of the wines are available at the L C B O, but occasionally Vintages releases include one or two Rueda wines.
Most wineries have agents who will be happy to import one or more cases for your enjoyment.
Grupo Yllera’s agent is John Hanna and Sons, 1800 337 7043
Vina Clavidor can be ordered
416 902 0097