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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tempranillo

Origin: Spain
Other Names: Aldepenas, Aragones, Aragonêz, Aragonez Da Ferra, Aragonez de Elvas, Arganda, Arinto Tinto, Cencibel, Cencibera, Chinchillana, Chinchillano, Chinchilyano, Cupani, Escobera, Garnacho Foño, Grenache de Logrono, Jacibiera, Jacivera, Juan Garcia, Negra de Mesa, Ojo de Liebre, Olho de Lebre, Sensibel, Tempranilla, Tempranillo de la Rioja, Tempranillo de Perralta, Tempranillo de Rioja, Tempranillo de Rioza, Tinta Aragones, Tinta de Santiago, Tinta de Toro, Tinta Do Inacio, Tinta Monteira, Tinta Monteiro, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Roriz Da Penajola, Tinta Santiago, Tinto Aragon, Tinto Aragonez, Tinto de la Ribera, Tinto de Madrid, Tinto del País, Tinto de Rioja, Tinto de Toro, Tinto del Toro, Tinto Fino, Tinto Madrid, Tinto Pais, Tinto Ribiera, Tinto Riojano, Ull de Llebre (Catalan for "Eye of the Hare"), Valdepeñas, Verdiell, Vid de Aranda,Tinta Santiago and Tinta Montereiro.

Tempranillo is Spain's most important red grape varietal and is famous for making the well known wines of the Rioja. It's name is a diminutive for the Spanish word "Temprano" meaning early. Tempranillo is an early ripening grape variety and usually ripens several weeks before other Spanish grapes. In recent times wines made from Tempranillo have enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance in production worldwide. This can be attributed to the young generation of Spanish wine makers who have proved that quality wines can be produced from the variety outside of Rioja. Spanish regions like La Mancha, Ribera del Duero, Navarra, Penedès, and Valdepeñas are all producing wines of great quality and purity.

To get elegance and acidity out of Tempranillo, you need a cool climate. But to get high sugar levels and the thick skins that give deep color you need heat. Attempts have been made by producers in other "new world" wine producing countries to make quality wine from Tempranillo; examples from Argentina, Chile, California, Mexico, and Australia can be found in limited supply. The grape also plays an important role in the production of fortified wine in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz.
 
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