Nisia is produced from several ungrafted, head trained, and dry farmed vineyard sites surrounding the town of Puras in the south-eastern sub-region of D.O. Rueda. These vineyard sites were planted between 80 and 60 years ago, on extremely sandy soils that are intermixed with river stones. These are soils that were deposited in this part of Rueda thousands of years ago by the Duero River. These sandy soils prevented the phylloxera from entering this subzone, so although the vineyards were planted between 1940 and 1960, they are all ungrafted. They are also head trained, dry farmed, and cared for using the most traditional methods of viticulture possible. These practices reduce the yields of the vines and create a more authentic expression of Verdejo in the final wine, that moves beyond the simple, commercialized, watery wines from Rueda that now flood the market.

Historically, D.O. Rueda is one of Spain’s finest white winemaking regions. When the capital of Castilla y León was in Valladolid, the wines of Rueda (and those of Toro) were celebrated by the Spanish medieval court. The most important indigenous grape in Rueda is Verdejo, named for the green hue of the skins. For centuries Rueda produced quality Verdejo, but was annihilated by the phylloxera, which wiped out two thirds of the region’s vineyards. When American rootstocks were selected for grafting, they were chosen for productivity, not quality. This focus on quantity over quality defined the region for much of the 20th century, until several important producers resuscitated the region’s commitment to quality in the 1970’s. Today, most of the region is focused on bulk wine from newer clones of Verdejo and Sauvignon Blanc. These vineyards are typically planted in the central part of the appellation, which is defined by extremely productive red clay soils. There are small pockets of extremely old, ungrafted vineyards of the original clones of Verdejo in the south-eastern part of the appellation. It is Bodegas Ordóñez’s goal to find and champion these authentic vineyards.