Ruta del Vino de Rueda
Spain is not only known for its warm climate and its beaches, it is also a beautiful wine country. The overall wine production is around 50 million hectoliter (6.7 million bottles), which is more than the production of France and Italy, making Spain the world’s biggest wine producer. No wonder this country is a paradise for wine tourists.
There are currently 20 official wine routes in Spain, of which the Ruta del vino de Rueda is one of the newest. The Rueda wine area, famous for its verdejo wines, is located about half an hour from Valladolid, the capital of Castilla y León.
With a total of 64 wineries, it won’t come as a surprise that this is a great region for wine tourism. You will find many different types of wineries. From small, family owned bodegas to huge modern enterprises. Although not all wineries are open to the public, there are many which do welcome tourists and since the importance of wine tourism is growing, more will follow.
The Rueda Wine Route helps to promote Rueda as a wine region. Not only wineries work together, but all kind of wine tourism related companies are involved in this project. Think of restaurants, hotels, local shops and even the towns! On the website all partners are displayed, so tourists have a clear overview of the places they can visit, and when you are already in the region, you can always enter one of the local tourism information centers.
For me one of the points of irritation often experienced while traveling is the lack of signalization. Why bother to visit a winery if you have been driving around for half an hour already and no sign is to be found anywhere, right? With the arrival of the Rueda Wine Route the signalization for tourists has been improved drastically. All companies have the Rueda Wine Route logo on their facade and the towns involved have a special town map on which the location of companies are marked.
The project also focuses on international tourists by providing information in English. Even though the majority of visitors are locals, this is a very important step for the development of this wine region, since wine tourism here has great potential to gain international fame. And don’t worry if your Spanish is a bit rusty. The wineries often offer their tours in English and at some of them you might even get a tour in German or French.
If you are interested in wine tourism and you like to hang out with the locals, the wine region Rueda is definitely the place to be.
.by Lisanne Van Duijn, Dutch Author and Wine Enthusiast