Spanish wine lovers need to know Verdejo (“vurr-day-ho”). This somewhat rare, indigenous white grape offers a wonderful and unique alternative to refreshing white wines like Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. While the wine is well known and well quaffed in Spain, it is not widely known in the US-yet. But we are letting you in on the biggest secret of the summer wine season-one of the most versatility and organic white wines – Verdejo.
Verdejo, such as our Granza Organic Verdejo from Bodegas Familiares Matarromera, has a unique aroma, with tropical, citrus, floral and herbaceous notes and a hint of scrub herbs. The palate shows delicate citrus and tropical flavors with an excellent level of acidity and a long finish. Its characteristic slightly bitter touch, gleaned from the mineral-rich soils, leaves a glint of originality in the mouth, accompanied by the rich expression of fruit. The wines have excellent structure and are well balanced, full and fresh. Verdejo is perfect for a hot afternoon picnic or a fine accompaniment to a delightful meal of seafood and vegetables.
Rueda D.O. Region – Home of Verdejo
Verdejo is grown in the hidden gem of the Rueda D.O. region, made up of vineyards on the flat high plains south of Valladolid, about two hours north of Madrid. The seemingly barren silt and clay fields of winter give way to verdant green, gently rolling hills of vines in the spring and summer. While you won’t find tourist-laden towns and vineyard tours, the region provides a unique set of growing conditions that are perfectly suited to this unique grape. According to 2015 statistics, wines from Rueda are the 2nd best selling wines in Spain, just after Rioja, with more than 14% of all wines sold in restaurants from the region. It’s a safe bet that you will find Verdejo poured by the glass in just about every restaurant in Spain!
D.O. Rueda stands at 2,300-2,600 feet above sea level, and consists of very long, cold winters with short springs and hot summers. In terms of latitude, the Rueda region is Mediterranean, but its altitude corresponds to that of a continental region.
Rain is scarce, and the vines’ roots must dig deep to search for water sources in the permeable soil that makes the perfect host for this flavor-rich variety. The dark grey-brown soils are rich in calcium and magnesium, stony but easy to farm, with good ventilation and draining, with limestone outcrops on the hilltops.
The difference between day and night temperatures (a diurnal temperature fluctuation of up to 40°F) is key to the balance the grape must have between the sugar provided by the sun and the acidity it does not lose during the cooler nights.
History of Verdejo
“The Verdejo grape origins date back to the 11th century, to the times of King Alfonso VI, when the basin of the river Duero was repopulated with people from Cantabria, the Basque Country and the Muslim southern regions; it was very probably the latter, the so-called mozárabes, who brought the Verdejo variety from North Africa, after a period of adaptation in the south of Spain.”
Granza Verdejo – Gold Medal, 91 points
“Yellow straw color. Fresh aromas and flavors of white flowers, cantaloupe, young peach, lime cordial, lime blossom, dried spices, and sea breeze with a round, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an engaging, medium-long roasted nut scone, coconut quark, olive, and sage finish with soft, fruit tannins and a suggestion of oak. A lovely Spanish white with great structure and delicate flavors.”-Tastings.com (2016 vintage)
Granza Verdejo Winemaker Bodegas Familiares Matarromera
Matarromera dates back to 1988 when Mr. Carlos Moro decided to return to where he grew up, Valbuena de Duero, to continue the viticulture legacy of his family, who have been producing wine in the Rueda and Ribera del Duero regions for nearly 800 years.
Carlos Moro is a passionate winemaker and vine grower, enamored with the land and its vines. He is third generation wine grower. His childhood was spent playing across the vineyards his family owned in the Golden Mile of Ribera del Duero. It was there that his acute intuition and love of wine grew. His sense of responsibility, hard work and respect, have always been guided by a complete love for the land. These life experiences were the foundation of what is now Bodegas Familiares Matarromera.
Restless worker with a longterm vision on the benefits of innovation, sustainable development and respect for the environment, has led the production of wines that have their own personalities and the highest quality.
Moro has been awarded with the highest recognition both internationally and nationally.
“It is our mission to treat the vineyards and the soil that feeds them as per the laws of nature, with utmost respect. It is with this reverence that the earth gives back with healthy grapes and a multitude of aromas and nuances that will develop later in the wine.”
Granza wine production is dedicated to:
- Preservation and betterment of old terroirs.
- Use of organic and natural fertilizers.
- Artisan agriculture and harvest.
- Helping the environment, as it generates a minimum CO2 footprint.
Get to know Verdejo, starting with our delicious organic Granza Verdejo. Paired with the food and fun of spring and summer, Verdejo is the perfect organic white wine for all occasions. Granza Verdejo is available at select fine retailers and restaurants throughout the U.S.