The DO area, named after the city of Rueda (Rad), is located northwest of Madrid in the heart of the Spanish region of Castilla y León
. It was classified in 1980 as DO for then only white wines. Characteristic are the hot, dry summers and the cold long winters. The vineyards cover about 7,500 hectares of vines. The limestone soil consists mainly of loamy alluvial soil mixed with gravel terraces. This, together with the continental climate with cold winters and short hot summers, promotes the fruitiness and fresh acidity of the wines. By far the largest part of the area is in the area around the capital Valladolid. Huge cornfields characterize the flat landscape, which is why it is also called the "breadbasket of Spain"