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What is Verdejo?

Discover what is Verdejo, a popular white grape variety in Spanish wine. Learn about its history, characteristics, and the regions where it's grown.

Verdejo white grapes

The world of wine is vast and diverse, with grape varieties that bring unique flavours and special characteristics to each bottle. One of these varieties is Verdejo, a white grape that has gained popularity for its fresh and aromatic Spanish wine

Knowing more about the different varieties of wine allows us to appreciate each glass better and understand its history and characteristics. This article will explore the origin, characteristics, and regions where Verdejo is grown.

History of Verdejo

The history of Verdejo is a fascinating journey that goes back several centuries, establishing itself as one of the most emblematic and appreciated grape varieties in Spain. Originally from the region of Castilla y León, and specifically from the Rueda Denomination of Origin, Verdejo has its roots in the Middle Ages. 

It is believed that this variety was introduced to the Iberian Peninsula by the Mozarabs, Christians living in territories under Muslim rule, around the 11th century. The grape, with its characteristic green colour that probably gave rise to its name, found in the stony soils and continental climate of Rueda its perfect habitat. 

For centuries, Verdejo was cultivated mainly for the production of fortified wines, such as those of Jerez, but it was only in the 20th century that its true potential for the production of fresh, high-quality white wines began to be recognised. 

The creation of the Rueda Denomination of Origin in 1980 marked a significant milestone in the history of Verdejo, establishing quality standards and encouraging viticultural practices that highlighted its unique characteristics. 

This DO covers the province of Valladolid and parts of Segovia and Ávila and has been crucial for the development and promotion of Verdejo on the international market. 

Wines made from Verdejo are renowned for their freshness, balance and aromatic complexity, presenting notes of tropical fruits, herbs and a mineral touch, together with a refreshing acidity that makes them especially attractive. 

In recent decades, innovation in winemaking techniques, such as barrel fermentation and the use of indigenous yeasts, has allowed winemakers to experiment and diversify Verdejo wine styles, expanding their prestige and adaptability.

Green grapes


Although Rueda remains the heart of Verdejo production, other regions of Spain and the world have begun to cultivate this variety, attracted by its versatility and quality. 

Thus, Verdejo has achieved a prominent presence both nationally and internationally, consolidating itself not only as a testimony to Spain's rich winemaking tradition but also as an example of continuous evolution and innovation in the world of wine.

Characteristics of the Verdejo grape

The Verdejo grape is exceptionally well adapted to the stony soils and continental climate of the area, with hot summers and cool nights, which favours the accumulation of sugars and the preservation of a balanced acidity. 

Verdejo grapes are small, thick-skinned and golden green in colour, which gives them a remarkable resistance to diseases and pests, as well as a high concentration of aromas and flavours. 

Wines produced with Verdejo are known for their freshness and liveliness, presenting a rich and complex aromatic palette that includes notes of tropical fruits such as mango and pineapple, citrus fruits such as grapefruit, as well as herbaceous nuances of fennel and freshly cut grass. 

On the palate, these wines are usually well-structured, with vibrant acidity and a mineral touch that gives them depth and persistence. In addition, Verdejo has a unique ability to develop subtle bitter notes at the end of the palate, which adds an extra dimension to its flavour profile. 

This variety also lends itself to a variety of winemaking techniques, from fermentation in stainless steel to bring out its freshness and fruity character, to barrel ageing, which adds complexity and notes of vanilla and spice.

Regions where Verdejo is grown

The Rueda Denomination of Origin, which extends mainly through the provinces of Valladolid, Segovia and Ávila, is the region par excellence where Verdejo unfolds its full potential. However, Verdejo cultivation is not limited to Rueda. 

In recent years, other wine regions in Spain have begun to experiment with this variety, recognising its exceptional qualities. 

Areas such as Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and some parts of Catalonia have planted Verdejo vineyards, adapting them to their respective terroirs and achieving surprising results that add diversity to the traditional profile of this grape. 

Moreover, its growing popularity has spread beyond Spain's borders, and today, Verdejo is also grown in other countries with suitable climates, such as Portugal and some emerging wine regions in the New World, including Australia and the United States, specifically in California. 

These new terroirs bring unique characteristics to Verdejo wines, expanding their range of flavours and aromas, and allowing winemakers to explore new expressions of this versatile grape. 

The expansion of Verdejo globally highlights not only its adaptability and resilience but also the growing international appreciation for its ability to produce fresh, aromatic and complex wines.

In conclusion, Verdejo is a fascinating grape variety with a rich history and unique characteristics that make it stand out in the world of wine. Its cultivation in the Rueda region and other selected areas guarantees high-quality, fresh and aromatic wines that reflect the best of Spanish viticulture. 

By exploring and understanding more about Verdejo, we not only better appreciate each glass, but also connect with the rich tradition and artistry behind each bottle.



How is Verdejo wine paired?
Verdejo wine goes well with fish, seafood, salads and rice dishes. It is also perfect as an aperitif.

What is the ideal temperature to serve a Verdejo wine?
It is recommended to serve Verdejo wine between 8°C and 10°C to enjoy its aromas and flavours to the maximum.

Why is Verdejo so popular in Spain?
Verdejo has gained popularity in Spain due to its versatility, freshness and ability to reflect the characteristics of the terroir of the Rueda region.

How long can a bottle of Verdejo wine be kept for?
Most Verdejo wines are designed to be consumed young, within the first 2-3 years after the harvest.


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