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How Temranillo Has Exploded On The Australian Wine Scene

In the Rioja region of Spain Temranillo is known as the exclusive red wine from the grape of that area. Now across the ocean from Spain this tasty red wine is now on the verge of dethroning Sangiovese as the top red varietal wine in the land of Oz, not that Oz, Australia!

The win growers in Australia are now harvesting plantings of the Tempranillo from over the last few years and the new grape on the Australian wine scene is becoming more well loved than any other wine as far as a percentage basis is concerned.

So what is it that is so special about this particular grape? Some of the characteristics that are making it so well loved are that the wines that come from it have a fantastic color and delicate fruit flavor as well as being very low in acid and tannins which make for an effortless drinking style.

The Temranillo variety also has a small growing season in the vineyard which makes it suitable even for cooler areas which expands upon the regions of the country in which it can be grown.

The Temranillo variety is the main wine in the Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions of Spain where it is sometimes blended with Graciano or even sauvignon.
In Portugal Temranillo is utilized as a minor part in port, and in some red table wines. In other areas of the world the major vineyards are found in Argentina and California. In California it is called Valdepenas and is generally thought of as unsuitable for making fine wine.

The popularity of the Tempranillo variety has increased in Australia just in the past few years. The renowned Brown Brothers have long been a pioneer of the variety, but now there are over 50 other producers of the variety in about half of Australia’s sixty wine regions and even though McLaren Vale has the highest number of producers the Tempranillo variety is widely planted throughout the mainland Australian wine regions.

The highest rated Tempranillo wine according to James Halliday’s Wine Companion 2005 is that which hails from Manton’s Creek Vineyard in the Mornington Peninsula. Casella Wines, the makers of the hugely successful [yellowtail] range are also actively involved in the variety.

The fate of Tempranillo as far as Australia is concerned lies with the winemakers and the growers many of which are just beginning to experiment and learn how to use the variety. Some enthusiastic fans of Tempranillo claim that it will be the premium red wine in Austraila while some of the traditionalists stick by the Italian Sangiovese. One thing is certain, only time will tell but in the meantime I will continue to delight in the competition.

Gregg Hall is a consultant for online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida. Find out about

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