World Verdejo Day Date in the current year: June 14, 2024

World Verdejo Day Wine lovers around the globe celebrate World Verdejo Day on the second Friday of June every year. This holiday was created to celebrate a wine grape variety that is primarily grown in the Rueda region of Spain.

Verdejo is a white wine grape variety that is predominantly grown in the Rueda region of the Spanish autonomous community of Castile and León. It most likely originated in North Africa and was brought to Spain by Andalusi Christians (Mozarabs) after the reconquest of Toledo. Back in the day, the grape was primarily used to make strongly oxidized fortified wines resembling Sherry.

Verdejo almost became extinct in the mid-20th century, but local winegrower Ángel Rodríguez Vidal believed in its potential and planted this variety in his vineyard to reestablish its prominence in Rueda. His hard work and dedication were recognized by King Juan Carlos I, who honored Vidal with the Cross of the Order of Agricultural Merit in 1982.

In the 1970s, French oenologist Émile Peynaud, widely regarded as “the forefather of modern oenology”, helped the winemaking company Marqués de Riscal to develop a fresh, crisp style of Verdejo wine. In 1980, white wines from Rueda were granted the denominación de origen (designation of origin, D. O.) status. According to the D. O. rules, wines labeled Rueda must contain at least 50% Verdejo, usually blended with Macabeo (Viura) or Sauvignon blanc. Wines labeled Rueda Verdejo must contain at least 85% Verdejo, and many are monovarietal.

A special thing about Verdejo wines is that the Verdejo grapes are typically harvested at night, i.e. at lower temperatures, which means less oxidation and lighter-colored wines. Verdejo wines are usually dry and aromatic, with a pronounced acidity and floral, fruity, herbal, and sometimes nutty notes. They taste best cold and pair well with shellfish, battered fish, chicken, sheep and goat cheese, vegetable dishes with herbs, and spicy food such as Thai and Vietnamese.

Verdejo Day was started in 2013 by wine enthusiasts from four cities across the United States. Within the next five years, it grew into an international celebration of Verdejo led by D. O. Rueda in partnership with D. O. Ribera del Duero. Its main goal is to raise global awareness of Verdejo wines and the Rueda region.

In 2022, World Verdejo Day events and social media campaigns targeted eight regions across the world, including Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Of course, wine lovers in other countries celebrated World Verdejo Day as well, but promotional activities were focused mostly on these eight markets.

There are many ways to celebrate World Verdejo Day. You can buy a bottle or two of Verdejo, gift a bottle of wine to a friend, have dinner at a Spanish restaurant that serves Verdejo, attend a wine and food pairing class or a wine tasting focused on Spanish wines, or even plan a trip to Rueda. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #WorldVerdejoDay.

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World Verdejo Day, international observances, wine holidays, DO Rueda, Verdejo grape