Didier Belondrade was drawn to the vineyards of Rueda, with its ideal climatic and geological conditions and the indigenous Verdejo grape variety, in his ambition to produce the best white wine in Spain. The estate was established in 1994 at Nava del Rey, and is today considered one of the greatest white wines of Spain.
The region of Rueda has been producing white wines for centuries. The opulence of the buildings, churches, monasteries and mansions of Nava del Rey and Rueda testify to the richness of the past. But poor profitability due to the division of the production plots resulted in the disappearance of over half the vines. Now the dry white wines of Rueda are making a noticeable comeback. This is not surprising given the ideal climatic and geological conditions, and the attributes of the delicious local grape variety, the Verdejo. Belondrade established his estate in 1994 at Nava del Rey, in the heart of the appellation. This very old village was home to subterranean cellars, a maze of dimly-lit labyrinths that had been abandoned to their fate. Huge barrels were assembled in the galleries to be filled with the juice from the pressed grapes via endless vertical pipes. The enormous quantity of wine fermented could easily be judged from the size and number of the underground or semi-underground vats. Such costly and impractical methods were replaced by modern techniques. The newly constructed Belondrade winery opted for simplicity. The ultra modern building stands on a hill outside the small town of La Seca in the heart of the appellation. It houses neat rows of barrels where the wine from the Verdejo grape-variety ferments and then matures for a year before being blended in stainless steel vats, ready for bottling. In the course of its fermentation in oak barrels from carefully selected American and French origins, the wine takes on the structure required to enable it to age harmoniously. The flavours are a perfect blend of the refreshing stylish fruit from the Verdejo grape with new, or nearly new, oak from the casks, making a world class white wine of great distinction and character.