Tempranillo is the third most widely planted wine grape on earth. Tempranillo takes its name from the Spanish word “Temprano”, which means “early”, a reference to the fact that this grape variety ripens sooner than Garnacha, a late-season ripening grape commonly grown in Spain near where tempranillo is king. It buds late and requires a relatively short growing season with very hot days and cool nights to preserve the fruit’s acidity. In fact growing seasons longer than 7 months tend to produce lower quality fruit. The thick skinned, deep blue-black berries are high in color and extract. Tempranillo can be enjoyed immediately or it can make wines that are very elegant, with great structure and aging potential. While Tempranillo has always been prominent in Spanish wines, it has now gained a foothold in the U.S. In fact, Tempranillo seems particularly well suited to Oregon’s climate with the 2017 Oregon Vineyard and Winery Report showing Tempranillo’s farm gate value to be over $2 million. The economic impact of the 2017 Oregon Tempranillo harvest is thus calculated to be over $10 million. Since 1991, when California had 533 acres of old vine Tempranillo (production was used for blending in jug wines at that time), Oregon has led the country in new plantings of Tempranillo. Oregon Tempranillo is now available in over 100 tasting rooms in the state, which clearly demonstrates that Tempranillo grows exceptionally well here and that it makes varietally correct wines that appeal to wine aficionados.