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International Tempranillo Day

International Tempranillo Day November 14, 2013

In 2011, TAPAS organized the first annual International Tempranillo Day: A celebration of the Tempranillo grape with all its regional synonyms. We encouraged everyone to open a bottle of Tempranillo, enjoy the fun, and share their experiences online with the hashtag #TempranilloDay or #Tempranillo.  

For 2013, the date will be Thursday, November 14, 2013.  It's not too early to plan an event and contact TAPAS so that we can post your details!

Tempranillo, indigenous to Spain and used in the great Rioja and Ribera del Duero wines, is planted in 500,000 acres of the world’s vineyards, making it the fourth most planted wine grape, and that would be enough to celebrate.

Until recently, this noble grape’s entire acreage was almost all grown in Spain. Perhaps others were confused by the 60 or more regional synonyms for Tempranillo, which in itself may be a record worth celebrating.

But things have changed: knowledge of this noble grape is rapidly spreading, creating excitement and a spirit of cooperation among adventurous vintners bringing this Old World variety to New World soils. Tempranillo today is grown in many more countries including the United States, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, France, Portugal, Turkey, Canada, China, Thailand, and more. And that’s why we established International Tempranillo Day.

Longoria Wines will be pouring their 2011 Tempranillo at both of their tasting rooms:

  • Downtown Los Olivos:  2935 Grand Avenue, Los Olivos -
    Nov. 14th thru Nov. 17th - open from 11-4:30
  • Lompoc Wine Ghetto:  1700 Industrial Way, Unit A, Lompoc -
    Nov. 16th thru Nov. 17th - open from 11-4:30

Their 2011 Tempranillo will officially be released to the public on December 1st, but in honor of Tempranillo Day they will have it available for tasting and sales during the above days only.

Verdad Wine Cellars will be celebrating with three events from Thursday Nov. 14th through Sunday Nov. 17th:

  • Verdad is running a contest for the best photo with a bottle of Tempranillo; the prize is two tickets to the TAPAS Grand Wine Tasting on April 27 in San Francisco.  
  • They are doing a vertical tasting of older, library wines out of magnums, at their tasting room from Thursday through Sunday.
  • In addition, on Friday Nov. 15, Louisa Sawyer-Lindquist will be hosting a blind international Tempranillo tasting at her house, featuring 12-15 wines.  They will be judged using the UC Davis 20-point scale.  

This year’s festivities at Abacela could not be contained to one day, so they will celebrate ITD on November 14, 15 & 16 in their Vine and Wine Center:

  • November 14th - Barrel Tasting Day; featuring a barrel tasting of the 2013 Tempranillos with winemaker, Andrew Wenzl from 12-4 pm. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to taste with one of America's pioneers.
  • November 15th - Paella & Tempranillo; Abacela will offer a Spanish Paella ($10) from 3-6 pm. Come early to discover how Paella is made. You won’t want to miss the delicious food and live guitar with Neil Johnson.
  • November 16th - Tempranillo Taste-Off; Abacela vs. Spanish Tempranillo. Think you know your Tempranillos? Come to the Vine and Wine Center and take part in the Brown Bag Blind tastings from 12-4 pm and see how Abacela stacks up against the great Spanish wines.

Throughout these three days Abacela will feature $1 off glass specials and complimentary tasting of:

2010 Tempranillo
2011 Fiesta Tempranillo
2009 Estate Tempranillo
2009 South East Block Reserve Tempranillo

Riaza Wines be doing a special cheese pairing on Saturday, November 16 in the tasting room. They'll be pouring all three of their 2011 Tempranillos (from Lodi, Amador County and El Dorado County) and matching them with three different Spanish cheeses. The pairing will be available from 1pm to 5pm and there will be no charge.

Pedernales Cellars will be pouring Texas Tempranillo at the Vintner’s Dinner and Wine Auction organized by the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the elder Bush’s presidency.  At the event, David (winemaker at Pedernales Cellars) and Heather Kuhlken will be honorary co-chairs.  For the 25th Anniversary, Pedernales Cellas has crafted a “George Bush 25th Anniversary Reserve 2012 Texas Tempranillo,” which is labeled with a special red, white and blue label.  It is their first release of the 2012 vintage of Texas Tempranillo.

The Triple Oak Wine Vault is a tasting room and wine merchant, located in Historic Oakland, Oregon, gateway to the Umpqua Valley wine region. Triple Oak Vineyard produces Tempranillo and will be having a vertical tasting of the '10, '11 and '12 vintages in celebration of International Tempranillo Day.

TAPAS partner Vibrant Rioja invites you to celebrate International Tempranillo Day on November 14 with Rioja wines!  Perhaps offer a daily special that incorporates Rioja? Otherwise, attend one of our tastings around the country or just enjoy with friends and family at home or around town. We’d love to see how you are enjoying the day - post photos using #TempranilloDay, #Tempranillo or #RiojaBuzz, and enjoy some Tempranillo!

Rioja has teamed up with online retailer for a series of promotions. From November 11-16, will offer a 10% discount on purchases of six or more bottles of Rioja Tempranillo wines to celebrate International Tempranillo Day (November 14).

2012 Event Recap

For the Second Annual International Tempranillo Day in 2012, TAPAS worked with CRT/tanaka, creators of the Vibrant Rioja campaign, and Wine Harlots, hosts of the #TempranilloDay TweetChat, among others, to stage a combination of publicity, events and tastings to promote Tempranillo worldwide. 

The TweetChat was organized around a group of Tempranillos from TAPAS members and Spanish producers.  Eleven prominent wine bloggers received tech sheets and samples of these wines and discussed them on Twitter during the evening, led by Nannette Eaton of the Wine Harlots blog.  Many others joined in, to the point where the hashtag #TempranilloDay was “trending” on Twitter for over an hour (two days after a major election!).  People from all over mentioned their favorite Tempranillos, including a large number of TAPAS wines. 

The TweetChat kicked off a month-long campaign by Vibrant Rioja, including a Facebook sweepstakes giving consumers an opportunity to win an all-expense paid trip to Rioja, the world’s most famous Tempranillo-producing wine region, and a second prize of a Rioja Wine Dinner, as well as over a dozen runner-up prizes of Rioja gift packs throughout the month.

Vibrant Rioja organized Tempranillo tastings at a number of major retailers during the week of November 8, including Cool Vines in New Jersey, Haskell’s in Minneapolis, Whole Foods and Binny’s in Chicago, and K&L Wine Merchants and Total Wine in California.  They also sponsored the Aqua Vino benefit event at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, hosted by Wolfgang Puck with food from his retaurants.

Caverna 57, a wine storage and event facility in east Sacramento, presented a tasting with ten Northern California TAPAS members: Boeger Winery, Dubost Winery, Yorba Wines, Baiocchi Wines, Six Sigma Winery, Ficklin Vineyards Port Society, St. Amant Winery, Bray Vineyards, Berryessa Gap Winery, and Riaza Wines.  The Fuzion Eatz food truck provided foods to pair with the wines.  The event was published in the Sacramento Bee and announced on KFBK Radio.  Donations were made to the American Red Cross (Sandy Relief) and Friends of East Sacramento. presented a Tempranillo celebration at El Sacromonte restaurant in Livermore, CA, with Latin American cuisine and special prices for Tempranillo by the glass. 

TAPAS members stepped up to create several events, including:

  • alegria wine and ware in San Luis Obispo had a special Tempranillo focus during the week, with Tempranillo flights, Spanish cheeses and Chorizo. 
  • Kriselle Cellars in White City, OR celebrated with tastings of their bottled 2009 award-winning Tempranillo and barrel samples of their 2010, along with a special Tapas menu and live Spanish guitar music.
  • Red Lily Vineyards in Jacksonville, OR presented authentic Spanish tapas by Elements, live music Saturday afternoon with Spanish guitarist Scott Head, and vertical tastings of Red Lily Tempranillos from 2003 through 2007. 
  • Abacela hosted a trade event for restaurateurs and bottle shops in Portland, OR, featuring a shoot-out with domestic and Spanish Tempranillos.  Abacela also provided complimentary tastings, a Tempranillo Day Party, and a vertical evening party attended by 40 at their winery in Roseburg, OR. 
  • Three Umpqua Valley TAPAS wineries, Abacela, Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards, and Delfino Vineyards, did an International Tempranillo Day Passport that moved 30-40 tasters on their little segment of the Nuevo Spanish Trail.
  • Longoria poured their current 2009 Tempranillo and offered a sneak preview of their 2010 throughout the weekend, with live flamenco guitar music by Chris Fossek on Sunday afternoon in their garden in Los Olivos, CA. 
  • EdenVale offered vertical tastings at two locations in Oregon, pairing their 2004-2006 Tempranillos with tapas like Rosemary Skewered Chorizo and Potato and Seville-Orange Custard.
  • Twisted Oak Winery did a consumer seminar on Foothills Tempranillo, comparing different vineyards and vintages, attended by about 30 people.
  • Members participated in a “Woot!Plus” sale featuring Tempranillos on 
  • Several other members offered discounts and special events to celebrate the day, including Viader Napa Valley, Stottle Winery of Lacey, WA, and Oregon members Folin Cellars, RoxyAnn Winery and Valley View Winery

Publicity around the event included articles such as –

Not ten years ago, Americans couldn’t pronounce the name of our grape.  They can now, and that’s progress, but there is still much more to be taught and learned about this noble grape. Remember Tempranillo is the last of the world’s major grapes to be produced in America at the level of excellence!  So we will continue to hold International Tempranillo Day on an annual basis. 

A Word about the Date

Going forward, International Tempranillo Day will always be on the second Thursday in November. Thursday was selected to facilitate commercial activities, as most restaurants and bottle shops are too busy on weekend days. The day remains the same but the date varies, thus avoiding future conflicts with Election Day, All Souls' Day, Day of the Dead, All Saints' Day, etc. The second Thursday in November will never be earlier than the 8th nor later than the 14th; thus ITD will not crowd Thanksgiving.

Please join us in thanking our partners at Vibrant Rioja, and Thanks to all the TAPAS members, Sanchos, sponsors, bloggers, restaurants and retailers who participated last year!

For more information, you can contact:

And have a look at some 2011 events and photos at