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"
A sight to see are the often ancient rock cellars with miles of labyrinthine corridors. The vineyards are located between 600 and 800 metres above sea level on the southern bank of the Duero, with the DO area of Toro
bordering on the west. Viticulture here has a history of over a thousand years. After the occupation by the Moors, King Alfonso VI promoted the cultivation of the vineyards. (1040-1109) already promoted viticulture in the 11th century. In the 17th century the white wine enjoyed such an excellent reputation that the Spanish royal court reserved half of the production for itself. Around 1900, almost all vineyards, with about 90,000 hectares of vineyard area at that time, were destroyed by phylloxera
White wine varieties dominate. These are Verdejo
, with about 50% of the total vine area, followed by Viura(Macabeo
and Sauvignon Blanc
. In 1972, the Bodega Marqués de Riscal
, known from Rioja
, settled here and successfully tried to obtain recognition for Sauvignon Blanc. The winery began experimenting with white wine (only red wine was produced in Rioja) and introduced new techniques such as covering the grapes and temperature-cooled fermentation in stainless steel tanks using inert gas
(protective gas). This was the beginning of the rapid ascent
Today the white wines rich in extracts are among the leading wines in Spain. They must consist of at least 50% Verdejo. Sauvignon Blanc, Viura and Palomino are also permitted as other varieties. The Rueda Verdejo must contain at least 85% Verdejo, but is produced by most winegrowers as a single variety. In 1992, the bottle-fermented sparkling wine Rueda Espumosa
was introduced (at least 75% Verdejo), which is stored on the yeast for at least nine months. Finally, in 2004, the red wines of the Medina del Campo municipal area, made from the Tempranillo
variety, were also classified as DO. Well-known producers are Bodega Antaño, Bodegas Aura, Bodegas de Crianza de Castilla La Vieja, Bodega Hermanos de Villar, Marqués de Riscal
, Naia, Náiades, Jose Pariente, Sitios de Bodega and Vinos Sanz.