Tempranillo is the grape behind the success of the Rioja wines and the most planted red grape variety in Spain.
Tempranillo is the noble grape variety of Spain, just like Cabernet Sauvignon is to France, and it is also the third most planted wine grape in the world.
Tempranillo is largely grown in Spain, where it thrives best in the cooler wine regions of Rioja and Ribera del Duero.
The name comes from Spanish "temprano" which means "early" and refers to early ripening.
Young Tempranillo wine has medium color, moderat acidity, and a fine berry-like character, while aged Tempranillo often develops a sweet spicy, leather and tobacco-like flavor.
Tempranillo wines are generally softer and rounder than Bordeaux wines, but drier than Burgundy wines.
Medium acidity and moderate tannins make Tempranillo wines round and soft, with a spicy aftertaste. The wines are easy to like, and easy to pair with many types of food.
Tempranillo is also called "Ull de Llebre" (means Eye of the Hare), "Cencibel", "Tinta del Pais", "Tinta de Toro", Tinta Fina" in Spain, and "Aragonez" or "Tinta Roriz" in Portugal (used in Port wine).
According to researchers at the CSIC University of La Rioja, the genetic parents of Tempranillo are Albillo Mayor and Benedicto.
Tempranillo loves calcareous clay soils but performs well also in limestone, chalck and iron rich ones.
The better performance in the world is in "La Rioja" and "Ribeira del Duero", Spain.