Tempranillo catching on throughout Pacific Northwest

By on June 7, 2015
Tempranillo has been grown in Washington since 1993.

Mike Sauer’s sign for his original Tempranillo – the first planted in the Pacific Northwest – now hangs on his shop wall at Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

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.

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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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