ORIGIN: Rueda, Spain
PRODUCT: Nisia Verdejo
This is a new project of Jorge Ordonez. The winery is located in the town of Puras, which sits on the border of Segovia in Rueda. All the vineyards are located in Segovia. It is not only the most southeastern area in the appellation of Rueda, but it is also the highest in elevation (2,850 ft).
The soil is very poor and sandy and this area was able to resist phylloxera. The grapes for Nisia come from seven very old (up to 125 years old) small parcels of Verdejo vines trained in the vaso system. The grapes are hand harvested. The wine is aged sur lie and 20% is fermented in large French Oak barrels.
An historic zone responsible for some of Spain’s freshest white wines, Rueda is home to the indigenous grape varieties of Verdejo and Viura, though most of its whites are a majority, if not entirely, made of Verdejo. The region has also enjoyed some amazing success with the international variety, Sauvignon blanc.
Rueda’s Verdejo vineyards flourished as far back as the Middle Ages. But the region wasn’t spared from the phylloxera epidemic of the late 1800s, which wiped out a great majority its vines. The 20th century saw a slow catch for replanting of Verdejo until the 1970s when the famous Rioja winery, Bodegas Marqués de Riscal recognized the region’s lost potential. It needed a fresh white to market alongside its Rioja red wines and was able to escalate Verdejo’s popularity once again with this goal in mind.
Today Verdejo vines have adapted to and flourish in the stark landscape of Rueda’s high elevation flatlands and even some ancient vines, living in sandy soils where phylloxera could not survive, still produce exceptionally complex and mineral-driven Verdejo-based whites.
Light-bodied but captivating with flavors of citrus blossom, melon, white peach and fennel, Verdejo is native to Rueda, Spain, and is growing in popularity. If you’re used to drinking Sauvignon blanc or Pinot grigio, this is the wine for you! Contrary to what some may think, it is actually not related to the Portugese variety with a very similar name, Verdelho. In fact, DNA profiling suggests it is most likely a sibling of Godello, a variety native to northwest Spain. Enjoy this little charmer with a variety of dishes like fish tacos, Thai food, papaya salad or even lemon-spritzed asparagus and steamed artichokes.