Tempranillo Grapes


Tempranillo is Spain's main contribution to the world of grape varieties, and the force behind that famous wine Rioja.

Under a variety of synonyms - Tinto Fino, Cencibel, Ull de Llebre - Tempranillo serves as the mainstay of numerous Spanish wines, among them Rioja. And while Spain remains very firmly its home, other countries are now falling for Tempranillo's charms.

Soft and oaky, firm and fruity, or somewhere in between, Tempranillo comes in many guises in Spain. Currently enjoying a surge in popularity, it is beginning to make an impact in other countries.

Twenty years ago, the extensive barrel aging that Tempranillo received in Rioja and other Spanish regions made it difficult to work out just what this Iberian grape tasted of. But with more sensitive use of oak, its tangy, spicy, berry-rich face is able to shine through.

Rioja remains its most famous incarnation, but Ribera del Duero, Toro and other regions are now exploiting the grape to impressive effect. The same is true over the border in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz or Aragonêz. It can also be found in vineyards in places as far apart as South Africa, New Zealand and California.



The English translation of Ull de Llebre, the Catalonia name for Tempranillo, is Hare's Ears.



What is remarkable about La Pamelita Tempranillo, made in Yecla, by Scot Pamela Geddes?



It's sparkling.