The fascinating world of wine is a vast and complex terrain, full of varieties and stories to be discovered. In this article, we will explore the journey of the Tempranillo grape variety, a grape that plays a fundamental role in some of the most exclusive wine regions in Spain.
The Star of La Rioja: Tempranillo
Tempranillo is the protagonist in the Qualified Designation of Origin (DOCa) of La Rioja, the oldest and most acclaimed wine-growing region in Spain. About 88% of all red grapes grown and three-quarters of all grapes in the La Rioja region are Tempranillo.
Although many red wines from La Rioja are made exclusively with Tempranillo, others follow traditional recipes, incorporating small percentages of Garnacha (Grenache), Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan).
The French Legacy and the Art of Winemaking
Winemakers in La Rioja learned from the French the art of growing quality grapes and aging wine properly in oak barrels, often for years before bottling. This French influence is evident in the techniques that resulted in La Rioja's well-known aging classifications: Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva.
This remarkable era gave rise to renowned producers such as Marqués de Riscal, Marqués de Murrieta, Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España (CVNE), La Rioja Alta, Bodegas Franco-Españolas and Bodegas Riojanas, who today produce some of the best wines in the world. These wines represent the quintessential style of La Rioja: wines that are refined, elegant and always based on Tempranillo.
Ribera del Duero and Toro
The journey through Spain continues southwest, where Tempranillo reigns supreme in the Duero River Valley, home to the Denominations of Origin (DOs) of Ribera del Duero and Toro. In these regions, the climate is more extreme than in La Rioja, with surprisingly high altitudes and wines made exclusively from Tempranillo, known locally as Tinto Fino or Tinta de Toro.
While Tempranillos from La Rioja are generally refined and elegant , those from Ribera del Duero and Toro are robust and intense , offering generally dark, powerful and tannic wines. These wines are a reflection of the extreme growing conditions, standing out for their intense color, vigorous fruits and strong presence of oak.
Choosing Your Tempranillo Style
The richness and diversity of Tempranillo in Spain provides a wide variety of styles to satisfy all palates. If you appreciate refined and elegant wines, the classic choice is La Rioja, while for lovers of robust and intense wines Ribera del Duero and Toro.
Don't miss the opportunity to explore the incredible diversity of Tempranillo through the selection of exclusive Spanish wines in our store and embark on this wine experience with us. We have selected some suggestions to try: