Happy Tempranillo Day to all you wine lovers!
It seems that November is quite the busy month for wine holidays, and it's fitting I suppose with all the celebration that comes with Autumn. November 11th is a day to gather withe friends & family to appreciate one of the more popular varietals in the past twenty years, give or take.
And to help fuel your witty and interesting conversations that will no doubt occur, we have selected a quick melange of fun facts for the grape named after the Spanish word Temprano - meaning 'early', which makes sense seeing that it ripens earlier than most indigenous grapes in Spain.
See? It's starting already.
The leaves on a Tempranillo vine are distinct from other vines in several ways. The two most interesting being A) The jagged, large leaves are deeply 5-lobed with overlapping lateral lobes, lyre-shaped petiolar sinus; large, sharp teeth; moderate to dense tufted hair (it looks more interesting than described, in terms of leaves anyways). And B), the vines leaves are one of the few varieties where they
turn bright red in the fall, looking quite beautiful in a vineyard.
Even though the earliest written mention of Tempranillo is from 1807, the prevailing theory states that it was introduced to the Iberian Peninsula - which includes Spain and Portugal - by the Phoenicians over 3,000 years ago. Oddly enough plantings have been found in Tuscany and Basilicata, Italy, bringing the validity of this theory into question.
Tempranillo is actually one of the top varietals blended into Port wine, under it Portuguese moniker Tinta Roriz.Other names include Tinto Fino in Ribera del Duero, Tinta de Toro in Toro, Ull de Llebre in Catalonia, and Cencibel in La Mancha.
Much like Pinot Noir, it has a white mutation. A rare occurrence, albino Tempranillo is an approved wine grape from Rioja, akin to Viognier in weight, flavor profile and structure.
Spanish Tempranillo is categorized into 4 age categories: Cosecha, Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. Typically, younger wines are more fruit forward and lighter in body, while older wines develop more deep, earthy, and nuanced characteristics. High-production, value-oriented wines should be consumed while young, while the Reservas and Gran Reservas are more suitable for aging - Gran Reservas are only produced in the best years.
We say Spanish Tempranillo due to the grape being grown internationally, and domestically in the states of Texas, California, & Arizona.
And finally, because it's our thing as a company, remember to consume your delicious Tempranillo wine at 12 – 15°C (55 – 60°F). You're welcome.