The winery-owned vineyards closest to the Duero River bring us Celeste Verdejo (DO Rueda), a white wine that is modern in style with remarkable freshness and aromatic intensity. The release of the first vintage – 2019 – coincides with the summer season, the perfect time to enjoy Celeste Verdejo as an aperitif or with a range of dishes, including salads, fish or seafood, that find a perfect match in the wine’s delicate herbaceous notes.
The wine represents the latest project of the Pago del Cielo winery, a Familia Torres property in Ribera del Duero, which now has a presence in Rueda as well. The winery estate is located in the municipality of Villafranca del Duero, on the left bank of the river, which is wide and abundant here, flowing between the first foothills of the valley amid a landscape of gentle slopes and beautiful meanders.
The proximity of the Verdejo parcels to the river, the fact that some of them are north-facing, and the gravelly soils composed of clay gravel and rounded pebbles – characteristic of the riverbed – accentuate the expressivity of the Verdejo grapes, which display more intense aromas here.
“We were obsessed with bringing out the freshness and aromatic potential of these peculiar Verdejo grapes that grow on the slopes near the river,” states winemaker Juan Ramón García. This led to a meticulous selection of parcels and a very gentle, respectful vinification process in an effort to reveal the character of the variety in this particular area of the Rueda appellation of origin. In doing so, the wine also took on greater complexity.
“The resulting wine is aromatically very intense,” says Juan Ramón García, “On the one hand, we find elegant herbaceous notes of fennel and anise, and on the other, interesting citrus notes of lemon and pineapple. The wine is crisp in the mouth, and unfolds pleasantly across the palate, with sweet mango and peach notes.”
The 2019 vintage had received very little rainfall by spring. Nighttime temperatures in early summer were quite warm, which reduced crop production and brought the harvest forward. The Celeste Verdejo 2019 varietal is V-Label (vegan) certified.