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Tempranillo adds Spanish flair to Northwest wine
Two decades ago, Tempranillo was barely a blip on the radar for Northwest wine lovers, grape growers and winemakers.
Today, the robust red wine still is grown and produced in small amounts, but many wine lovers are discovering the joys of Tempranillo.
The earliest known planting of Tempranillo was in 1993 at Red Willow Vineyard in Washington’s Yakima Valley. Not long after, Earl and Hilda Jones arrived in Oregon’s Umpqua Valley for the express purpose of growing Tempranillo in what they viewed as a perfect climate for the red variety. Since then, their winery – Abacela – has led the charge for increasing interest in Tempranillo.
In recent weeks, we’ve tasted a number of Tempranillos, and we’ve been especially impressed with what we’ve tried from the high-elevation vineyards of Idaho’s Snake River Valley – an emerging region that is showing great promise with Spanish and Rhône varieties.
Here are 10 examples we’ve tasted blind from Oregon, Washington and Idaho.