Verdejo Grape Variety

Verdejo is a variety of wine grape that has long been grown in the Rueda region of Spain. The grape originated in North Africa, and was spread to Rueda in about the 11th Century, possibly by Mozarabs.[1]

Wine description lemon and citrus, minerality and above all, a sharp acidity 
Food pairing Tapas 
Origin North Africa 
Notable regions Spain
Notable wines Wines from Rueda--Jose Pariente, Bodegas Lorenzo Cachazo, Bodegas Naia, Bodegas Yllera and Bodegas Nieva (6)


Verdejo was generally used to make a strongly oxidized, Sherry-like wine. In the 1970s the winemaking company Marques de Riscal began to develop a fresher style of white wine based on Verdejo with the help of French oenologist Emile Peynaud.[2] In 1980 white wines from the Rueda region were recognized by a Denominacion de Origen (DO). Wines labeled Rueda must contain 50% Verdejo; the remainder is typically Sauvignon blanc or Macabeo. Wines designated "Rueda Verdejo" must contain 85% Verdejo, and are often 100% Verdejo.[3]

The Verdejo grapes are generally harvested at night. This means that the grapes enter the cellar at the lower night-time temperature of between 10-15 C instead of the daytime temperature which in September can reach as high as 28 or 30 C. Lower temperatures means less oxidation, or browning of the juice. [4] Verdejo wines are aromatic, often soft and full-bodied.[5]


  1. "Verdejo", webpage of Consejo Regulador Denominacion de Origen Rueda. Retrieved 2008-03-07. 
  2. Asimov, Eric (2008). "Wines of the Times: Emerging, in Spain, to Warm Applause"The New York Times, March 5, 2008. Online version retrieved 2008-03-07. 
  3. "Back labels", webpage of Consejo Regulador Denominación de Origen Rueda. Retrieved 2008-03-07. 
  4. "D.O. Verdejo", webpage from the Excel Wines website retrieved 27-May-2008. 
  5. "Wines from Spain: Grape Variety", webpage from Wines From Spain website retrieved March 23, 2008 
  6. Verdejo - Spain’s Signature White Grape


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