Grape Of The Week: Verdejo

If you like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris, you’re going to love Verdejo. A grape that’s believed to have originated in North Africa, Verdejo is Rueda’s flagship varietal. Spanning across 16,500 hectares, Verdejo has been growing in Rueda for the last 10 centuries.

It can be made into two distinctive styles: light, crisp, and fruity wines that come in high shouldered bottles; and fuller-bodied wines that interact with oxygen during the fermentation displaying nutty notes and are typically in low shouldered bottles. In general, Verdejo tends to have notes of lime, green melon, grapefruit pith, fennel, and mountain herbs, making it fantastic alongside stuffed peppers, fish tacos, and lime chicken. 

Verdejo Wines From The Greene Grape

Victoria Ordóñez La Pasajera Rueda 2018

Created from Verdejo grown on gravelly soils in La Seca, this bright and fresh white is perfect for warm weather. Passionfruit and citrus zest tickle the nose, while notes of apples, white flowers, and hay mingle elegantly and wash over the palate, finely balanced and smooth on the finish.

Vina El Portalon Rueda Verdejo 2022

This wine, produced from sustainably farmed, pre-phylloxera vineyards in the heart of Rueda, takes its name — “El Portalon” or “Big Door Vineyard” — from the vineyard from which its grapes are sourced (years ago, the vineyard’s entrance was a large stone doorway). Fermented in steel and aged for 3 months before bottling, the finished wine is fresh and expressive, with notes of citrus, hay, fennel, and tropical fruits.

Grape Photo Credit: Ribera y Rueda