Tempranillo enjoying growing fame in Northwest

By on June 12, 2016
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Rachael Martin, winemaker and co-owner of Red Lily Vineyards in Jacksonville, Ore., works with two estate vineyards in the Applegate Valley and produces six styles of Tempranillo, including a rosé and a Port-style of the Iberian grape.

Rachael Martin, winemaker and co-owner of Red Lily Vineyards in Jacksonville, Ore., works with two estate vineyards in the Applegate Valley and produces six styles of Tempranillo, including a rosé and a Port-style of the Iberian grape. (Photo by Maddox Visual Productions/Courtesy of Red Lily Vineyards)

While Tempranillo remains a grape variety that is little-planted across the Pacific Northwest, the quality of the wines coming from this region’s winemakers gives hope that more will be planted each year.

In all of Washington state, fewer than 50 acres of the famous Spanish red wine have been established. And in Oregon’s Umpqua Valley – where the grape is perhaps best known in the Northwest – about 160 acres are in the ground.

But small numbers don’t mean much at this point because winemakers are crafting superb examples, consumers love what they are tasting, and wine critics are now thinking of the Northwest as an emerging region for Tempranillo.

Successful events such as the inaugural Oregon Tempranillo Celebration – which drew talented young winemakers from the Walla Walla Valley – and International Tempranillo Day are helping, too.

Here are nine delicious Tempranillos we’ve tasted recently. Most are going to be available only from the wineries.

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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