- Bullocks bid goodbye to Eye of the Needle Winery in Woodinville
- VineLines Dispatch #7: That’s a wrap
- Former Oregon car dealer gears up with Jachter Family Wines
- VineLines Dispatch: 6 Vineyards at Work
- L’Ecole Nº 41 to create wine bar at Marcus Whitman Hotel
- VineLines Dispatch: Harvest surrounding Lake Chelan
- Northwest restaurateurs purchase Basel Cellars in Walla Walla
- Hayden Homes CEO buys interest in Pepper Bridge, Amavi wineries
- Walla Walla Community College to receive $15 million gift from MacKenzie Scott
- Brian Carter Cellars adds Latin influence with marketing hire
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.