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Collection: Bodegas de Los Ríos Prieto

A start-up bodega (founded in 2002) is now bringing its first wines to market, but features vineyards planted with decades old Tempranillo vines and a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon. A group with youthful, oenological enthusiasm and a resolute choice for quality. Modern wines emphasising fruitiness and concentration. In three, classic, red variations. Meantime they also make a tasty Verdejo (white wine) in Rueda.

D.O. Rueda: this D.O., located between Valladolid and Segovia is one of the best known of Spain's white wine regions, alongside Galicia, Penedés and Jerez (for sherry). The grape varieties planted here are principally Verdejo, Viura and Sauvignon Blanc. The cultivation zone is located at an altitude of around 600 metres, although the vineyards of Segovia are over 800 metres in altitude.  It's precisely from there that we chose our Rueda wines.

This old winegrowing area has undergone a recent renaissance, thanks to the rapid developments that have taken place since it was granted D.O. status in 1980. The terroir, located at the north of the high meseta, extends across a gently undulating landscape dotted with towns which played an important role in the history of Spain in the Middle Ages.

The extensive replanting of the native grape varieties of the region, in particular Verdejo, has given rise to a new generation of fresh, young and very fruity wines which are nowadays also suited to bottle-ageing.

Today, almost all bodegas have stainless steel winemaking equipment, use overnight machine harvesting and treat the grapes with inert gas during transportation from the vineyard to the presses, in order to prevent oxidation.

The D.O. Rueda and the city from which it takes its name, are located approximately 170 km to the north west of Madrid in Castilla y León. It is a flat landscape located high up on the meseta with wide horizons and softly undulating hills. The vineyards can be found in three different areas: the majority are in Valladolid, but the rest are in Avila and Segovia. The Duero river flows east to west through the northern part of this winemaking area. The soil close to the river is loamy and alluvial with a limestone content of up to 24%. In the south, the topsoil is brown and sandy with a sandstone and clay subsoil. It drains well, is relatively iron-rich and is generally easy to work. The region has an altitude that ranges from 600 to 780 metres.

Rueda has a continental and windy climate. The temperature dips well beneath freezing in the winter and heavy frosts, fog, storms and hail all occur. In the summer, the days are long and hot with lots of uninterrupted sun, although the temperature doesn't get quite as high as it does in the south of the meseta. Storms can also occur.
Rain is an essential factor in the quality of the wine. It normally falls in the spring and autumn with the odd year when rainfall is sporadic and steady, making for an exceptional harvest. Sometimes there is year-long drought.

The most important white grape varieties are Verdejo (52%), Viura (22,5%) and Sauvignon Blanc (7%)
Nowadays the rules of D.O. Rueda permit the making of red wines from Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Garnacha. However, although there are still Palomino Fino (18%) vines planted here, planting new ones is forbidden.
The yield per hectare is between a quarter and half of the permitted quantities. In most vineyards, vines are planted three metres apart so that they can be machine harvested. This has proved very important for raising quality, because it allows for a rapid nighttime harvest. Irrigation is allowed until set dates (31 July in Avila and Valladolid and 15 August in Segovia).

There are three types of young white wines: varietal Verdejos which contain at least 75% Verdejo, called Rueda Superior; 100% varietal Sauvignon Blanc; and Rueda Blanco, which has to be made out of at least 40% Verdejo or Sauvignon Blanc. Verdejo wines are characterised by their highly aromatic, lemon-grassy taste and good structure.
Sparkling wines (D.O. Rueda Espumoso) must be made with at least 40% Verdejo for semi-dry and semi-sweet wines and with 85% Verdejo for Brut en Brut Nature wines.
Both Rueda Palido and Rueda Dorado wine can be made with any combination of the permitted grape varieties.
According to the 2001 rules, rosé and red wines have to be made with 50% black grape varieties (rosé) and 50% Tempranillo (red).

The light, refreshing, white wines for which Rueda is renowned, are made from grapes that are initially cooled below fermentation temperature and then kept under a layer of gas throughout the cold fermentation process. They are pressed very gently and the nearly finished must is mixed with some pressed wine.

 

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