The wine region of Rueda is located south and west respectively of the famous and historically fecund cities of Valladolid and Segovia.
Rueda lies on a limestone plateau, to the south-west of the red wine powerhouse DO of Ribera del Duero, producing wines more stylistically akin to its neighbours in Galicia rather than Toro, that is to say more inclined to white and aromatic styles than red and weighty. Rueda has had a chequered history, vinously speaking.
Its tendency in the early days (and by early days we can go back to medieval times) was to produce fortified wines, made with Palomino; in other words to imitate Sherry, but not necessarily the quality or the success of Sherry. When Sherry fell into a completely unjustifiable parlous state in th early 1990s, commercially speaking, Rueda decided that the time was ripe for reinvention.
Its indigenous grape, the charismatic but sometimes temperamentall Verdejo, , is prone to oxidation and a lack of freshness, unless made in a thoroughly modern fashion in inert conditions. When made thus, the wines can be completely charming, combining pleasing aromatics, citric and grapefruit notes and a concentration and viscosity, energy and length. Sometimes it is combined with Macabeo and even Sauvignon Blanc, the former to lend weight, the latter, aromas. Ultimately, however, it stands up in its own right and has been entirely responsible for the current reappraisal of this once moribund region.