If the infinite fields of Castile tell the stories of battles and kings, its vineyards evoke its orders of knighthood settled in this vast open plateau also known as la meseta central. In this district, wine culture is tightly intertwined with the History of the Catholic Kings, best depicted by a number of fortresses and castles.
In the Middle Ages, few trusted the water of poor quality, a source of infection and diseases such as the plague, therefore the population (soldiers, workers, servants and religious communities from monasteries) turned to wine consumption whenever possible.
In the late sixties of the 20th century, there was a renewed focus on quality and regulating the production and trading of Rueda wines.
The modern wine era of Rueda has emerged only within the last few decades. Before then most wines were consumed locally.
The lesser- traveled region of Rueda is maybe the next surprising place on the rise to fame. The wine district is impulsing a series of wine tourism campaigns, with a highlight on gastronomy and monasteries restored into luxury boutique hotels. Few places in neighboring Ribera del Duero can match the well located Hotel Castilla Balneario Monestario de Valbuena. This luxury 5-star hotel was formerly a 12th century Cistercian monastery, with a working winery and vineyard. Today, the place offers a gorgeous spa centre and hot spring bath.
Rueda is before anything an emblematic white wine made from Verdejo, characterized by peculiar color, an exquisite level of acidity, a tonality of scrub herbs, a hint of tropical fruits in the mouth. Rueda can only gain further international fame.
The best season to explore it probably before and after the months of July and August, avoiding the scorching summer temperatures of continental Spain.
This route heads northwest of Madrid, and offers mostly historic and gastronomic gems. If you plan to travel slowly, there is a good chance that you will make some real discoveries aside of the Verdejo.
Along with Rueda, we invite you to discover with us unsuspected places in the neighboring Ribera del Duero district. Starting from Madrid, we will take you in a comfortable vehicle from one vineyard to the next, stopping at carefully selected hotels and restaurants, to make your wine and culinary tour a unique experience.