The Tempranillo Grape is one of the most characteristic and well-known grapes in Spain and the United States (This coming November 10th will be Tempranillo day for us in the wine world). Tempranillo originated from two grapes varieties known as "Albillo mayor" and "Benedicto". The union of these two gave rise to one of the most legendary grapes worldwide, from which many of the best wines that we know today and that you can find in our store come from; Tempranillo.
Although the cultivation origin of the Tempranillo grape was La Rioja, in the north of Spain, it is in the Ribera del Duero where it manages to exploit its full potential and where it's fame and flavor begin to delight palates around the world. One of the main characteristics of this grape is that to grow properly, it needs a mixture of long exposure to the sun during daylight hours and very cold temperatures at night, all in combination with a moderate rainfall climate. This causes it to grow better in interior (Non-coastal) areas, with environmental conditions that are ideal in the Ribera del Duero. Another characteristic of the grape is that it grows very quick (Tempranillo stands for "Early", in Spanish).
At an aromatic level, although there are different types of wine, Tempranillo wines usually have a very distinctive aroma of herbs and red fruits. Another of the great qualities of this grape is its versatility, which allows it to be part of stunning Red Blends, making it winegrowers' favourite.
Arrival in the United States
It is believed that the Tempranillo grape variety arrived in the United States, and more specifically in California, approximately 100 years ago. At first, it was mistakenly known as Valdepeñas, and grown only in the Central Valley. Unfortunately, the valley's climate was not ideal for this grape and it could not thrive there.
However, a key man appeared to change the Tempranillo grape's history in the United States: Earl Jones, owner of the Abacela Vineyard, was the first to bring the grape to Oregon and start producing excellent quality wines. Soon, the grape spread to other states such as New Mexico, with the Tularosa vineyards. Later on, Tempranillo landed in Virginia thanks to producers like Alan Kinne, who explained that the excessive humidity in Virginia was a problem for the adaptation of the grape. The fame and prestige of the Tempranillo grape have already reached wine producers in south Texas and the highlands of Arizona, although specialists believe that the state that best suits the characteristics of the Tempranillo grape is Idaho since it is considered that the altitude, sunshine hours, and temperatures are perfect for the development of our beloved grape.
Currently, Tempranillo is in full swing and booming in the United States and the number of planted acres keeps growing yearly, especially in Western United States. In California alone, there are more than 410 Tempranillo-planted hectares and the increasing wine-lovers demand who want a Tempranillo bottle on their table grows every year, making Spanish Wine Imports be on a healthy trend.
Pairings and comparisons
As we said, one of the greatest qualities of the Tempranillo grape is its versatility and ability to mix it with other grapes, especially Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Compared to Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo wines could be defined as somewhat less intense, but with greater complexity of flavors from start to finish.
Do you want to taste some of the highest rated Classic Spanish Tempranillos? Don't miss our exceptional Classic Tempranillo Curated Half Case
When choosing the perfect dish to pair with a good Tempranillo wine. Due to the degree of acidity, they are perfect wines to combine with any type of roast, hamburgers, steak, fish, or slider, although they are also very recurrent for pasta dishes, pizzas, or spicy foods. Another of the great allies of Tempranillo wines are sausages, its versatility is perfect for mixing it with a variety of cheeses or prosciutto.
In short, do not hesitate to celebrate this Tempranillo Day with one of the most Prestige and growing grapes in the United States that is expected to become one of the most demanded in the coming years. Enjoy your favorite Tempranillo wine and learn more about Spanish Tempranillo wines before anyone else HERE.
Cheers and Happy Tempranillo Day!