Tempranillo is an ancient grape that has been grown in Spain and Portugal since the Phoenicians ruled the Mediterranean.  The fruit has thick black skins which can tolerate heat but prefer some cooler temperatures. The base of the name of Tempranillo, "temprano" means "early" in Spanish as it was known to ripen several weeks earlier than other grapes.  It is grown all over Spain but in highest concentrations in Rioja but is also found Navarra, Penedes and Ribera del Duero.  It was planted in California as Valdepeñas but didn't thrive until it was planted in higher elevations with cooler temperatures which allowed the fruit to reach its maximum flavor.  It is now found growing all over the west coast of the United States, Arizona and Texas.  Other places it has been successfully grown include Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, Thailand and Uruguay, 


Tempranillo is often found in blended wines but is becoming more common in single varietal bottles.  The flavors of these wines are often plummy with vanilla, leather and tobacco.  Traditionally Tempranillo was heavily oaked but new wine makers have started using lighter or more neutral oaks to allow the fruit flavors shine through..


When it comes to planning a menu around a bottle of Tempranillo, you have options galore as this wine matches with medium spicy Mexican fare, rich stews, roasted lamb, duck and fatty fish.  As an accompaniement with a cheese course, think of Manchego, sharp Cheddar and maybe some figs and aged chorizo.


Shop Tempranillo Wines

2013 Playground Cellars Paso Robles Tempranillo
$ 27.00

Like our Howell Mountain Cab, we were at the right place at the right time. Through our connections we were able to stumble across enough for two barrels of this remarkable 100% Tempranillo that speaks to what Tempranillo is all about.

Tasting Notes

Vanilla cola swirls with cinnamon and allspice to blend into a burst of cherry and gold raspberry. The faint cedar and baking chocolate balances the fruit for a well-balanced finish of acid and tannins.

Vintage: 2013
Varietal(s): 100% Tempranillo
Appellation: Paso Robles
Alc: 14.8%

Limited Production 50 cases

2015 Troon Blue Label Tempranillo Rogue Valley
$ 35.00

From two very small plantings of Tempranillo, harvested and fermented separately. As always, using a native yeast ferment to draw out the deeper aromas and textures. This Tempranillo is an expression of the granitic soils, which create a refined character. This is a bright, fresh wine with lifted aromatics and a structure defined by fine, elegant tannins. Rich and complex, yet is not heavy on the palate. Very classic in style.

Harvested in half ton bins, which are then trodden by foot, the new must spends the night in the same bin in which they were harvested. This respite helps the natural yeast population to establish themselves and allows the hoards of Oregon yellow jackets to add the yeasts they carry to the grapes, which they can’t resist.. The next day the grapes are destemmed and the fruit is placed in one ton fermenting bins that are placed outside to let the natural temperature fluctuations from day to day help the fermentation. No pump-overs are used and each fermenter is punched down by hand one or two times a day. When fermentation is almost finished the wine is transferred to mature French Oak Burgundy barrels. Fermentation and malolactic fermentation slowly progresses in the cold of winter only to finish in the spring. After 16 to 18 months in barrel the wines are bottled.

Our Troon wines are from LIVE and Salmon Safe certified vineyards. All fermentations are native and there are no added enzymes, acids or sugar used in the production of our wines. No sulfur is added prior to fermentation and minimal amounts are added during aging and bottling. No new oak is used to age this wine.