Thanks to Abacela for mentioning TAPAS in this coverage of the Vibrant Rioja event!
See the original article at http://www.abacela.com/Trade/VibrantRioja.htm .
May 7, 2011 - After 500 years the Spanish are again invading the Americas! Well at least San Francisco and New York; their mission being, to promote Tempranillo wines from the world-famous Rioja wine growing region of Spain. Toward this end they held a series of tastings and seminars on their noble Tempranillo grape and wines in these cities.
Earl Jones, of Abacela Winery in Roseburg Oregon, was asked to join them in San Francisco. He was the only American producer invited to sit on the seminar’s prestigious five member panel of Spanish wine makers and wine journalists. The extensive “Vibrant Rioja” Seminar and Grand Tasting were both held at the Westin St. Francis hotel in San Francisco on Monday May 2, 2011.
In the early 1990's Earl and his wife Hilda pioneered the production of Tempranillo in America at their vineyards in southern Oregon's Umpqua Valley. Although late to arrive in the New World, this noble Spanish wine grape is now planted in 20 US states and Tempranillo wine is produced by over one hundred US wineries.
In the past decade Earl founded the Tempranillo Advocates, Producers, and Amigos Society (TAPAS) and served three terms as president of this national trade organization. Today TAPAS, with over 100 members in several states, is actively promoting and educating Americans about domestically produced wines from Tempranillo, Albariño, Garnacha and other winegrapes and wine styles native to Spain and Portugal.