Close Menu

Producers are buying into Gran Vino de Rueda 

Producers in the DO Rueda are putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to quality, as they embrace Gran Vino de Rueda in pushing premium quality white wines from the region.

Currently, 14 bodegas in the region have launched a Gran Vino de Rueda. The 2020 harvest was the first from which producers were able to make these wines and there are still more to come, as a number of wineries continue to work on their new Gran Vino de Rueda expressions.

DO Rueda says that the category, with wines that have ageing potential, will bring added value to Rueda wines as a whole. They note, however, that some patience will be required as consumers are educated on what the new tier means.

Santiago Mora Poveda, general manager at the DO Rueda, commented of the Gran Vino category, “Rueda is a very old region with lots of very old vineyards. A Gran Vino has to come from vineyards that are over 30 years old, with maximum yields of 6500kg/ha. The usual is 10,000kg/ha. These old vines are all planted in the best, traditional soils. So, it’s like a selection of the best vineyards.,” he continues, “Apart from the old vines and yields there’s no other kind of limitation – the winemakers can be as creative as they want with barrels, bottles, ‘tinajas’ (earthenware jars) and lees. So, we’ve found very different types of them, which is what we wanted. It started in the 2020 vintage so the first wines appeared last year. As well as versatility, these are wines that will have the concentration to age. The diversity is impressive, and you’re going to see that even more over the coming years as more of them arrive in the market.”

Mora concedes that educating consumers on the new tier will take time, “In Spain, D.O. Rueda holds practically 40% of quality, white wine market share according to Nielsen’s latest figures. White wine consumption is a relatively new thing in Spain, it is a comparatively new category which is continuing to grow. Consumers like Rueda Verdejo and want to experiment more and more with different styles, aged wines, different winemaking styles but all with Rueda Verdejo as the base. Taking this into account we have to make the most of the advantages we have in terms of versatility and the ageing capacity of Rueda Verdejo.”

He adds, “We are finding that the specialist press is highlighting not just the consistent quality to be found in Rueda but also the increased levels of differentiation between these wines and the different drinking occasions to which they are suited, as a aperitif as well as a serious food wine. Last but not least, it’s about taking advantage of such an important wine heritage, including pre-phylloxera vines, in the oldest DO in Castilla-Leon and one of the oldest in Spain.”

Mora says that the first job for DO Rueda is to excite sommeliers and distributors with these top Rueda wines. He sees their role as key in getting these wines in front of consumers. “This is the crucial factor in getting the end consumer to understand a wine with such added value, a wine that has a very different profile and that goes with a very different style of food, that is to say, this a is a wine that is all about gastronomy.” He said.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No