Verdejo is the aromatic grape variety behind the crisp white wines of Rueda in central Spain. It is by far the most planted variety in this part of the country, and is produced both varietally and as the major component of a blend with either Viura or Sauvignon Blanc. Full-bodied Verdejo wines are held in high regard, displaying herbaceous, nutty characters with balanced acidity and some cellaring potential.
The origins of Verdejo remain unclear. It seems most likely that it is indigenous to Castilla y Leon, although it has also been suggested that it arrived via southern Spain from North Africa in the 11th Century. It seems that the variety was forgotten about for hundreds of years, and was most recently revived in the 1980s by Riojan producer Marques de Riscal.