Puente de Rus is a co-operative founded in 1945 to pull together a bunch of scattered vineyards in the area of La Mancha, which is one of the largest appellations in Spain. It is located in the middle of the country, near Madrid.
When the co-op was founded, Rioja was the only region in Spain garnering international attention for their wines and Sherries. Most of the country's other wine-producing areas were unheard-of. Puente means bridge in Spanish, so it seems logical that this winery wanted to bridge the gap between La Mancha and a wider world of wine enthusiasts.
The co-operative did better than they expected to, partly because many of the great wines of Spain come from La Mancha. Puente de Rus now controls over 6,000 acres of grapes. Their vineyards are more than 2,000 feet above sea level, where the climate is cool. The conditions allow them to grow delicate varieties, like our Verdejo, with a sensual delicacy not found anywhere else.
To say that we love this varietal would be putting it mildly. It is one of the most delicious white grapes in the world. And though it crops up in Australia, New Zealand and California, nowhere does it shine as it does in Spain.
At first, it comes on like Sauvignon Blanc, with a white peach and citrus edge. Then, it morphs into Riesling, with apple and apricot. Finally, it finishes like Viognier, sporting a touch of spice and granite. Surely this is the chameleon of wines.