Gran Vino de Rueda classification launchesBy Lucy Shaw
Spain’s most important region for white wines, Rueda, has launched a Gran Vino de Rueda classification aiming to add prestige and value to the on-trade.
Commenting on the announcement, Carmen San Martín, president of DO Rueda, said: “The objective is for the area’s winemakers to experiment and achieve the maximum potential of the permitted varieties, and especially of our native grape, the Verdejo.
“We want to demonstrate its versatility and ageing capacity, making wines that position the Rueda brand among the fine dining sphere.
“Our ‘Gran Vino de Rueda’ classification adds value for consumers, who we hope to impress at a domestic and international level. With this initiative, we continue to meet the requirements of an increasingly educated consumer, who puts their faith in the quality of DO Rueda wines.”
The formal tastings to classify the wines for the Gran Vino Rueda tier began in April. The first wines have already passed the regulatory board’s strict quality controls and the sensory and physicochemical analysis carried out by the DO’s tasting committee, made up of oenologists, sommeliers and industry professionals.
Once these controls are complete, the wines will be marketed with a special back label featuring a black and gold design to convey “elegance and exclusivity”.
In addition, this back label has an engraving designed for DO Rueda to certify each wine’s quality and origin.
With this new category, the DO aims to highlight the importance of older vineyards and the work carried out by growers in preserving the area’s heritage.
The wines that fall under this new classification must meet several requirements, including hailing from vineyards that are over 30 years old, and the vines having a maximum yield of 6,500kg/ha and a kilogram-to-litre conversion of 65%.