Has anyone made Tempranillo?

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Apr 18, 2014
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Sierra Foothills, Nor Cal
@4Score and I went to get Barbera from the commercial vineyard we get grapes from and told sorry, sold out. The only variety they had available was Tempranillo, so we said sure.

I can't say I've ever drank a Tempranillo, let alone made it. Anyone have experience with this grape? Does it need a blending partner?
I always thought Rioja wines were 100% Tempranillo, but the google-machine just told me that they typically have a fair amount of Garnacha and/or Carignan (or Carignane if you are in California).
I make it every year, on my 5th leaf. In my vineyard I end up with a light fruity wine. I've tried long hang time but to keep decent acid, I end up picking at 25-26 brix. They are large juicy grapes and huge clusters. I've read of wing dropping but haven't tried it yet.

I haven't tried cold soak or extended maceration with it. I usually end up inoculating in about 3 days of crushing. Looking at 2016, fermentation went 12 days, then I pressed. It does like oak. Last year's went into a new Vadai 50l barrel in November and I racked it out in March. I'll give it more barrel time when I have a more neutral barrel available. Typically I try to give it two years in the barrel and at least one in the bottle. It is easy drinking earlier, but really develops in the barrel.

I've had temps that are full bodied and bold, just don't seem to get there with mine. Most Riojas are blended, but I think most old world wines are. There is an international Tempranillo society based somewhere in the Bay Area that promotes the grape and wine. Overall I like the grape, just would like to get more body from mine, but that may be all my vineyard can do.
I did Tempranillo last year with frozen must from Spain, it is coming along quite nicely.
We found and really enjoy a Volver Tempranillo, really good price point, and ordered cases of the '12, '13 and '14. Give it a try, it'll give you an idea of what a good, pure varietal, single vineyard Tempranillo tastes like. You can still get it for just over $12 / bottle. Posted WA review, hope this helps.

I've only made it via kit. But it was blended with Grenache.

I like Tempranillo though.
I've done several Juice buckets from Mosto Bello of Valdespena' Tempranillo. Must say that I did enjoy it even though it was not given proper aging time. May have to do some more this fall and do it right!!

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