September 1: Celebrate International Tempranillo Day!
Say good-bye to the dog days of August with wine from a noble grape. Join us on Thursday, September 1, as we celebrate the first International Tempranillo Day!
Conceived by TAPAS, Tempranillo Advocates, Producers, and Amigos Society, International Tempranillo Day invites everyone to open a bottle (or two, or three!) to honor this Spanish native now called by 60+ regional names in both Old and New World soils. From the Argentina to New Zealand, Tempranillo is now grown in many countries including Italy, Mexico, Chile, South Africa, Australia, France, Portugal, Turkey, Canada, China and Thailand. In the United States, you can find wineries in California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and even Texas producing Tempranillo. Planted in 500,000 acres of the world’s vineyards, it is the fourth most-planted grape.
The primary grape in Rioja, Tempranillo gets its name from the Spanish word, “temprano” meaning early, because it ripens a few weeks earlier than most other Spanish red grapes. A black grape with a thick skin, it grows best in mountainous regions, with warm days and cool nights.
One of our favorite Tempranillo wines is The Spaniard, from Twisted Oak Winery in Calaveras County. We’ll be tasting a bottle of the 2007 vintage, along with Tempranillo from Yorba Wines and Irwin Family Vineyards, both Napa Valley producers whose Tempranillo, like Twisted Oak, is sourced from the Sierra Foothills; Coral Mustang from Paso Robles, and a couple from Texas. Since Texas tends to suffer from excessive heat and drought, we are interested to see how these wines from adverse climates compare to those grown in more Tempranillo-friendly regions.
You too can participate in International Tempranillo Day. Just register at http://internationaltempranilloday.eventbrite.com/. To join in the fun on twitter, just use the on-line hashtag #TempranilloDay. And check out the other events celebrating Tempranillo in Lodi (August 31), Paso Robles, New York, Portugal, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Seattle and a number of events in Oregon!