What kind of wine is Tempranillo?

Tempranillo - A short trip to Spain through a beautifully Spanish influenced wine!


Exploring the Mediterranean through wine is a lot of fun and it opens you up to a wider variety of wine than what might be available in your local grocery store. If you are craving something different and looking for a wine to start your journey, then Tempranillo, Spain’s king of wine grapes, is an excellent choice!

Mediterranean Vineyards Tempranillo Wine Tasting
What is Tempranillo?

Tempranillo is a black grape variety widely grown to make full-bodied red wines in its native Spain. Its name is the diminutive of the Spanish temprano, meaning "early". This is a reference to the fact that this grape ripens several weeks earlier than most Spanish red grapes.

Tempranillo has been grown on the Iberian Peninsula since the time of Phoenician settlements. It is the main grape used in Rioja, and is often referred to as Spain's noble grape. For some time, Tempranillo was thought to be related to the Pinot Noir grape. According to legend, Cistercian monks left Pinot Noir cuttings at monasteries along their pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. However, ampelographic studies have shown no genetic connection between the cultivars.

Tempranillo often makes up as much as 90% of a blend, but it is not usually bottled as a single varietal. Being low in both acidity and sugar content, it is most commonly blended with Grenache, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

What does Tempranillo wine taste like?

The most dominant flavors often include cherry, dried fig, cedar, and tobacco. Age impacts the flavors of Tempranillo, imparting juicy fruit flavors and heat. Really beautiful vintages feature deeper, darker fruit notes, dry leaves, and Tempranillo’s signature leather flavors.

What food pairs well with Tempranillo?

Tempranillo is famously paired with Spanish red meats and ham, but it is actually an incredibly versatile food wine that can match well with a variety of flavors that have depth like roasted vegetables, smoked pork or sausages, seasoned starches, hearty tomato pastas, and even some of your favorite Mexican foods.


The fall colors are not to be missed! If you are like us and in love with fall foliage, then Tempranillo is a sight to see. It is one of the few varieties where the leaves turns bright red in the fall and it is easily one of the most beautiful sights in the vineyard.

We love this wine when enjoying a cool fall evening on the deck overlooking the vineyards. Join us for imaculate sunsets, great wine, and renowned hospitality!

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"Mediterranean Vineyards is such a special place. I love exploring their wines and the sunsets are incredible!"

- Natalie Walling