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 grape commonly grown in Spain near where tempranillo is king. many other traditional varieties. It buds late and requires needs only a relatively short growing season with 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 southern Oregon’s climate. With 414 total acres in state, 318 are in Southern Oregon which accounts for 77% of the state’s total planted acreage.