- WSU studies tiny Samurai wasp in war vs. stink bug
- Maryhill Winery to be part of $1.5 billion Vancouver USA waterfront development
- Illahe Vineyards goes canoe for Pinot Noir delivery to PDX
- Walla Walla Valley vines branch out nearly 3,000 acres
- 2018 heat units tracking near 2014 vintage for Northwest wine
- Washington wine lovers should seek out big Petit Verdot
- Bergevin Lane in Walla Walla promotes Smith to head winemaker
- Katie Nelson takes over for Juan Muñoz Oca at Columbia Crest
- Lenné Estate exudes sophistication, sense of place with Pinot Noir
- Dry pink wines extend rosé trend in Pacific Northwest
Northwest Tempranillo continues to shine
Tempranillo’s Northwest provenance is pretty easy to follow.
Mike Sauer of Red Willow Vineyard in Washington’s Yakima Valley planted the first Tempranillo vines in 1993. Two years later, Earl and Hilda Jones moved from Florida and established Abacela in Southern Oregon. They were the first with significant plantings, and their commercial examples generally brought the Spanish grape to fame.
Today, we are seeing the wine most often associated with Spain’s Rioja region slowly and steadily spreading across the Pacific Northwest. Though Tempranillo is never likely to be a dominant variety, it will undoubtedly play a strong role as a niche, high-end red wine.
At a tasting we conducted last year for Wine Press Northwest magazine, all three examples from Idaho’s Snake River Valley earned a top “Outstanding!” rating, a notable trend for the high-altitude region west of Boise.
The opportunity for Tempranillo in the Northwest is bright, and we have selected eight examples we’ve tasted recently.