Tempranillo Wine in Australia

The most successful of the red wines introduced into Australia over the past two decades

Mayford Wines in the Alpine Valleys region of Victoria are one of the pioneers of Australian Tempranillo. They started with a very small batch

Tempranillo is the premium red wine grape variety from the Rioja Region in Spain. It is also grown in many other regions of Spain.

In Spain the Tempranillo wine grape variety is the backbone of the wines of the Rioja and the Ribera del Duero regions in Northern and Central Spain. In these regions it is often blended with varieties such as Graciano, Grenache or Cabernet sauvignon playing a minor role. It makes up about 60% of Ribera del Duero's famous Vega Sicilia, the Spanish equivalent to Grange.

Some Tempranillo wines are intended to be consumed while they are young, in which case they are referred to as being the joven style. The Spanish term crianza refers to aged wines. In very good years Spanish wineries make a reserva intended for extended ageing.

In Portugal the variety is used as a minor component in port, and increasingly in red table wines.

But now Tempranillo wine is being made in many Australian wine regions from the Granite Belt in Queensland to the King Valley in Victoria to McLaren Vale and the Barossa to Geographe and Margaret River in Western Australia.

Tempranillo Around the world

Tempranillo is grown in many Spanish wine regions and is grown in Portugal under the name Tinta Roriz.

Other synonyms include Aragonez, Cencibel, Tinto Fino, Tinto Madrid, Grenache de Logrono, Tinto de la Rioja, Tinto de toro, Jacivera, Tempranilla, Ull de Llebre, Tinta Roriz, Tinto de Santiago.

Tempranillo is rapidly gaining followers around the world and plantings of the variety are growing rapidly as the chart below shows.  Most of the new plantings are in Spain where Temp is replacing the workhorse white wine variety Airen.

Elsewhere in the world the major plantings are in Argentina and California. In the latter region it is called Valdepenas and is regarded as a unsuitable for making fine wine.

Most of the Australian plantings are new.  For more detail see the article The Rising Tide of Tempranillo

Worldwide increases in plantings of Tempranillo outstripping all other wine grape varieties.

What makes this variety so exciting?

Well, it makes wines which have good colour and good fruit flavours along with low acid and low tannins. The middle palate is just full of interesting fruit flavours. This adds up to an easy drinking style of wine that matches very well with a range of foods.

The wine also goes well with American oak, a fact which many winemakers are exploring in Australia. In the vineyard the variety has a short growing season which makes it suitable for cooler areas.

Tempranillo's home, Rioja, is an inland region of Spain with a continental climate. (see this map for a thorough understanding of Spanish wine regions) This has lead to some people speculating that it is quite suitable for inland Australian regions such The Canberra or Orange wine regions.

But experience has shown that the variety thrives in a wide range of viticultural environments.

Australian Wineries using Tempranillo

Award winning tempranillo

At the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show in 2016 a total of 73 Tempranillo wines were judged.

6 gold medals, 6 solver medals and 22 bronze medals were awarded.

The gold medal winners were

  • Fighting Gully Road 2013 Beechworth Tempranillo
  • Graham Stevens 2015 Fleurieu Tempranillo
  • Green Door 2015 Tempranillo
  • Juniper 2015 Small Batch Tempranillo
  • Mayford 2015 Tempranillo
  • Taylors 2016 Tempranillo

In addition nine Tempranillo dominant blended wines were judged, for three silver medals and three bronzes.

  • 919 Wines Riverland
  • A Rodda Wines Beechworth
  • Alex Russell Wines Riverland
  • All Saints Estate Rutherglen
  • Alpha Box and Dice McLaren Vale
  • Amadio Adelaide Hills
  • Amato Vino Margaret River
  • Anderson Winery Rutherglen
  • Andrew Peace Wines Swan Hill
  • Angelicus Geographe
  • Angoves Winery Riverland
  • Angullong Wines Orange
  • Aravina Margaret River
  • Arete Barossa Valley
  • Artemis Wines Southern Highlands
  • Artwine Adelaide Hills
  • Atika Yarra Valley
  • Atze's Corner Wines Barossa Valley
  • Audrey Wilkinson Hunter Valley
  • Badgers Brook Yarra Valley Yarra Valley
  • Bakkheia Geographe
  • Banrock Station Riverland
  • Barossa Valley Estate Barossa Valley
  • Basalt Henty
  • Beechworth Wine Estates Beechworth
  • Bella Ridge Estate Swan District
  • Bellwether Coonawarra
  • Between the Vines Adelaide Hills
  • Bidgeebong Wines Gundagai
  • Bilgavia Wines Hunter Valley
  • Billy Button Alpine Valleys
  • Bird in Hand Adelaide Hills
  • Bittern Estate Mornington Peninsula
  • Blaxland Wine Group Barossa Valley
  • Bleasdale Langhorne Creek
  • Blue Poles Vineyard Margaret River
  • Boggy Creek Vineyards King Valley
  • Brandy Creek Wines Gippsland
  • Briar Ridge Vineyard Hunter Valley
  • Brookhampton Estate Geographe
  • Brown Brothers King Valley
  • Bullers Calliope Rutherglen
  • Bunkers Margaret River
  • Byrne and Smith McLaren Vale
  • Calabria Family Wines Riverina
  • Campbells Wines Rutherglen
  • Capel Vale Geographe
  • Capital Wines Canberra
  • Carlaminda Estate Geographe
  • Casella Riverina
  • Castelli Estate Great Southern
  • Caudo Vineyard Riverland
  • Centennial Vineyards Southern Highlands
  • Ceres Bridge Estate Geelong
  • Chalk Hill Winery McLaren Vale
  • Chalkers Crossing Hilltops
  • Chapel Hill McLaren Vale
  • Chrismont King Valley
  • Corymbia Swan Valley
  • Crabtree of Watervale Clare Valley
  • Crittenden at Dromana Mornington Peninsula
  • D'Arenberg McLaren Vale
  • Dalfarras Nagambie Lakes
  • De Iulius Hunter Valley
  • Del Rios Geelong
  • Dell'uva Wines  Barossa Valley
  • Di Giorgio Limestone Coast Zone
  • Dimbulla Hunter Valley
  • Dionysus Winery Canberra
  • Doc Adams McLaren Vale
  • Dogrock Winery Pyrenees
  • Dolan Family Wines Barossa Valley
  • Domaine De Binet Hunter Valley
  • Donovan Wines Grampians
  • Dowie Doole McLaren Vale
  • Drakesbrook Wines Peel
  • Dryridge Estate Central Ranges Zone
  • Eaglerange Wines Alpine Valleys
  • Edgecombe Orange
  • Epsilon Barossa Valley
  • Ernest Hill Wines Hunter Valley
  • ess&see McLaren Vale
  • Farmer and the Scientist Heathcote
  • Feathertop Alpine Valleys
  • Ferguson Falls Winery Geographe
  • Fifth Estate Geographe
  • Fighting Gully Road Beechworth
  • Firebox Ridge Swan Hill
  • First Creek Hunter Valley
  • First Drop Barossa Valley
  • First Ridge Mudgee
  • Fox Gordon Barossa Valley
  • Freeman Vineyards Hilltops
  • Galafrey Mount Barker
  • Galli Estate Heathcote
  • Gapsted Alpine Valleys
  • Gatt Barossa Valley
  • Gemtree Vineyards McLaren Vale
  • Geographe Wines Geographe
  • Glandore Estate Hunter Valley
  • Golden Grove Estate Granite Belt
  • Goundrey Mount Barker
  • Graham Stevens wines McLaren Vale
  • Grampians Estate Grampians
  • Granite Hills Macedon Ranges
  • Granite Ridge Wines Granite Belt
  • Green Door Wines Geographe
  • Hand Crafted by Geoff Hardy McLaren Vale
  • Happs Margaret River
  • Hare's Chase Barossa Valley
  • Hastwell and Lightfoot McLaren Vale
  • Hay Shed Hill Wines Margaret River
  • Heathcote Winery Heathcote
  • Hedberg Hill Orange
  • Hedonist Wines McLaren Vale
  • Hemera Estate Barossa Valley
  • Henschke Eden Valley
  • Heritage Estate Granite Belt
  • Hesketh Wines Barossa Valley
  • Hewitson Barossa Valley
  • Hidden Creek Granite Belt
  • Higher Plane Margaret River
  • Hither and Yon McLaren Vale
  • Hollick Wines Coonawarra
  • Honey Moon Vineyard Adelaide Hills
  • Hotham Ridge Winery Peel
  • Houlaghans Valley Wines Gundagai
  • Hugh Hamilton McLaren Vale
  • Hungerford Hill Hunter Valley
  • Inkwell McLaren Vale
  • Ironbark Hill Estate Sagrantino
  • Island Brook Margaret River
  • Jericho Adelaide hills
  • Jester Hill Wines Granite Belt
  • Juniper Estate Margaret River
  • K1 by Geoff Hardy Adelaide Hills
  • Kaesler Barossa Valley
  • Kalleske Wines Barossa Valley
  • Kangaroo Hills Macedon Ranges
  • Keith Tulloch Wine Hunter Valley
  • Kellermeister Wines Barossa Valley
  • Kelman Vineyard Hunter Valley
  • Kirrihill Estates Clare Valley
  • Krinklewood Hunter Valley
  • Kurrrajong Estate Hunter Valley
  • La Bise Adelaide Hills
  • La Cantina King Valley King Valley
  • La Linea Adelaide Hills
  • Lady Bay Winery Southern Fleurieu
  • Lake Geroge Canberra
  • Lambert Estate Barossa Valley
  • Landaire Padthaway
  • Landhaus Estate Adelaide Hills
  • Larry Cherubino Margaret River
  • Lazzar Wines Mornington Peninsula
  • Leogate Estate Hunter Valley
  • Lethbridge Wines Geelong
  • Liebichwein Barossa Valley
  • Lillypilly Estate Riverina
  • Lion Mill Vineyards Perth Hills
  • Little Wine Company Hunter Valley
  • Livewire Wines Geelong
  • Lobethal Road Wines Adelaide Hills
  • Lockwood Vineyards Hilltops
  • Logan Wines Mudgee
  • Lucas Estate Granite Belt
  • Macquarie Grove Vineyards Western Plains
  • Main and Cherry Adelaide Hills
  • Mallee Estate Riverland
  • Mansfield Wines Mudgee
  • Margan Family Hunter Valley
  • Marq Margaret River
  • Matriarch and Rogue Clare Valley
  • Maximus Wines Sangiovese, Tempranillo
  • Mayford Wines Alpine Valleys
  • Mazza Geographe
  • McCuskers Vineyard Perth Hills
  • McHenry Hohnen Margaret River
  • Merilba Estate New England
  • Millbrook Winery Perth Hills
  • Mimosa South Coast Zone
  • Ministry of Clouds McLaren Vale
  • Mongrel Vineyard Mudgee
  • Montalto Vineyards Mornington Peninsula
  • Moppity Vineyards Hilltops
  • Morrisons of Glenrowan Glenrowan
  • Mount Avoca Pyrenees
  • Mount Broke Wines Hunter Valley
  • Mount Burrumboot Estate Heathcote
  • Mount Charlie Winery Macedon Ranges
  • Mount Majura Canberra
  • Mount Trio Vineyard Porongurup
  • Mr Mick Clare Valley
  • Mr Riggs Wine Company McLaren Vale
  • Mt Bera Adelaide Hills
  • Mt Billy Southern Fleurieu
  • Mundrakoona Estate Southern Highlands
  • Muster Wine Company Barossa Valley
  • Myattsfield Vineyard and Winery Perth Hills
  • Nannup Ridge Blackwood Valley
  • Nashwauk McLaren Vale
  • Nepenthe Adelaide Hills
  • Next Crop Wines Langhorne Creek
  • Ngeringa Adelaide Hills
  • Noble Red Heathcote
  • Oatley Wines Mudgee
  • Olive Farm Swan District
  • Olive Hills Estate Rutherglen
  • Olivers Taranga McLaren Vale
  • Optimiste Mudgee
  • Oxenbury Estate McLaren Vale
  • Pandemonium Estate Swan Valley
  • Pankhurst Wines Canberra
  • Paul Conti Wines Greater Perth Zone
  • Paul Nelson Wines Mount Barker
  • Paulmara Estate Barossa Valley
  • Paxton McLaren Vale
  • Peacetree Estate Margaret River
  • Peel Ridge Peel
  • Pengally Lane Wines Bendigo
  • Pertaringa McLaren Vale
  • Peter Lehmann Barossa Valley
  • Pfeiffer Wines Rutherglen
  • Piano Piano Beechworth
  • Pikes Clare Valley
  • Pindarie Wines Barossa Valley
  • Plan B Margaret River
  • Pokolbin Estate Hunter Valley
  • Pondalowie Bendigo
  • Quarry Hill Wines Canberra
  • Quattro Mano Barossa Valley
  • Quoin Hill Pyrenees
  • Ravens Croft Wines Granite Belt
  • Red Earth Estate Western Plains
  • Red Edge Heathcote
  • Reilly's Wines Clare Valley
  • Remarkable View Winery Southern Flinders Region
  • Rewine King Valley
  • Ridgemill Estate Granite Belt
  • Romantic Vineyard Pyrenees
  • Rookery Wines Kangaroo Island
  • Ros Ritchie Upper Goulburn
  • Ross Hill Wines Orange
  • Rumbarella Granite Belt
  • Rusty Fig Wines South Coast Zone
  • Rutherglen Estates Rutherglen
  • Sam Miranda Wines King Valley
  • Samuels Gorge McLaren Vale
  • Sanguine Estate Heathcote
  • Savina Lane Granite Belt
  • SC Pannell McLaren Vale
  • Seaview McLaren Vale
  • Section 45 Adelaide Hills
  • Serafino Wines McLaren Vale
  • Sevens Select Riverland
  • Seville Hill Yarra Valley
  • Shingleback McLaren Vale
  • Silver Spoon Wines Heathcote
  • Sittella Swan Valley
  • Smallfry Wines Barossa Valley
  • Sons of Eden Barossa Valley
  • Spook Hill Wines Riverland
  • St Hallett Barossa Valley
  • Stakehill Estate Peel
  • Stanton and Killeen Wines Rutherglen
  • Starvedog Lane Adelaide Hills
  • Stella Bella Margaret River
  • Stockman's Ridge Orange
  • Stuart Wines Heathcote
  • Summit Estate Granite Belt
  • Surveyor's Hill Winery Canberra
  • Sutherland Estate Yarra Valley
  • Switch Riverland
  • Symphonia King Valley
  • Symphony Hill Wines Granite Belt
  • Tahbilk Nagambie Lakes
  • Talijancich Swan Valley
  • Tallagandra Hill Canberra
  • Tallavera Grove Winery Hunter Valley
  • Tar and Roses Nagambie Lakes
  • Tarzali Strathbogie Ranges
  • Taylors Clare Valley
  • TeAro Barossa Valley
  • Tempus Two Hunter Valley
  • Tenafeate Creek Wines Adelaide Plains
  • The Hedonist McLaren Vale
  • The Little Wine Company Hunter valley
  • The Pawn Wine Company Adelaide Hills
  • Tim Adams Clare Valley
  • Tim Gramp Clare Valley
  • Tipperary Estate South Burnett
  • Tobin Wines Granite Belt
  • Tokar Estate Yarra Valley
  • Toppers Mountain New England
  • Torzi Matthews Eden Valley
  • Trahna Rutherglen Wines Rutherglen
  • Traviati Beechworth
  • Trelawney Clare Valley
  • Trifon Estate Goulburn valley
  • Tscharke Barossa Valley
  • Tuck's Ridge Mornington Peninsula
  • Tulloch Hunter Valley
  • Two Dragons Wine Currency Creek
  • Ulithorne McLaren Vale
  • Upper Reach Vineyard Swan Valley
  • Vale Vineyard Mornington Peninsula
  • Vasse River Wines Geographe
  • Vinaceous Various
  • Vinden Estate Hunter Valley
  • Vinifera Wines Mudgee
  • Vinous Australia Geelong
  • Wallington Wines Cowra
  • Wangolina Station Mount Benson
  • Way Wood Wines McLaren Vale
  • Well Mannered Wines Mudgee
  • Welshmans Reef Vineyard Bendigo
  • West Cape Howe Wines Denmark
  • Whitfield Estate Denmark
  • Wild Orchids Blackwood Valley
  • Willoughby Park Denmark
  • Willow Bridge Estate Geographe
  • Willunga 100 Wines McLaren Vale
  • Wilson Vineyard Clare Valley
  • Windowrie Estate Cowra
  • Windsors Edge Hunter Valley
  • Wines by KT Clare Valley
  • Wirra Wirra McLaren Vale
  • Witchmount Estate Sunbury
  • Woodgate Wines Manjimup
  • Woodstock McLaren Vale
  • Woody Nook Margaret River
  • Wrattonbully Vineyards Wrattonbully
  • Yacca Paddock Vineyards Adelaide Hills
  • Yalumba Wine Company Eden Valley
  • Yangarra Estate McLaren Vale
  • Yarra Yering Yarra Valley
  • Zappa Wines New England
  • Zonte's Footstep Langhorne Creek

Tempranillo and food

The obvious food pairing with Tempranillo wine is to go with Spanish style dishes. A lighter bodied Tempranillo would go well with tapas, those delightful little snacks that originally were designed for accompanying sherry. A little plate of olives, a few marinated mushrooms, some prawns and a few slices of Chorizo sausage may be just what is needed.

The Spanish also love jamon, dry cured ham. Many bars in Spain have dozens of country style hams hanging up and there is always a ham in a special rack ready to be thinly carved for a snack to accompany a glass of wine.

Sheep farming is a major industry in the Rioja and the Ribera del Duero regions. Hence grilled and especially roast lamb are local specialties, as well as the ideal accompaniment to Tempranillo.

Evan Goldstein in his excellent book Daring Pairings suggests Rack of Lamb with Creamy Rice and Parsnips as a food pairing idea for this wine

Sheep milk cheeses, roast stuffed peppers and vegetable casseroles would also be enhanced by a glass or two of these fine wines.

Learn More about Grape varieties

De Long's Wine Grape Varietal TableDe Long's Wine Grape Varietal Table

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