Tempranillo has been around the Pacific Northwest for barely two decades, yet the zesty Spanish red variety is catching on quickly with winemakers, grape growers and consumers.
The first Tempranillo in the Northwest went into the ground in 1993 when Mike Sauer planted a tiny bit at iconic Red Willow Vineyard in the western Yakima Valley. Two years later, Earl and Hilda Jones put in the first serious amount of Tempranillo when they planted several acres at Abacela in Oregon’s Umpqua Valley.
Today, there’s still not a whole lot of Tempranillo, but what is around is being turned into delicious wines in small amounts in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Here are eight examples we’ve tasted recently that are worth seeking out.