Frost shrinks Rueda's 2010 crop


Rueda in autumn looks lunar. The landscape is steamrollered, featureless and plain, framed by distant mountains. The sunshine is steely bright but cool, and life seems sparse: it is bleakly beautiful. If you wanted to fake moon landings, this would be the place. If you wanted to make top-quality white wine, it is pretty good too.

In particular, the south-eastern dog's leg of Rueda, not far from Segovia, is turning out some very impressive Verdejo. The soil here is fine white sand, pure enough to rival any island idyll, and quite unlike the red clay that predominates the heart of...