San Luis Obispo Tempranillo Trail
Tempranillo is a black grape variety widely grown in Spain to make full-bodied red wines. The name, Tempranillo, comes from the Spanish word for early, temprano, a reference to the fact that the Tempranillo grape ripens weeks earlier than most Spanish red grapes.
If you’re a fan of Tempranillo, like us, here are the wineries you need to visit around San Luis Obispo.
(These wineries also pour other varieties in addition to Tempranillo.)
Croma Vera Wines is a boutique, small-lot winery specializing in Spanish varieties, and offers a young (Joven), and an award-winning full-bodied and aged (Maduro) Tempranillo, from fruit grown in Paso Robles. Tasting room: 3592 Broad Street, Suite 106, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Saucelito Canyon offers a cool-climate Tempranillo, which is produced in small quanitities, and not always available. Tasting room: 3080 Biddle Ranch Road, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Cronologie at Filipponi Ranch offers a Tempranillo made under the Cronologie label by winemaker Peter Cron. Tasting room: 1850 Calle Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Bodega de Edgar is a boutique winery in Paso Robles, and offers both a young (Joven) and aged 100% Tempranillo. Tasting Room: 2727 Adelaida Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Opolo Vineyards is an established winery in Paso Robles, and offers a full-bodied Tempranillo. Vineyard and tasting room: 7110 Vineyard Drive, Paso Robles, CA 93446
Epoch Estates is an established winery with beautiful grounds and tasting room with a big, concentrated Tempranillo. Tasting room and vineyard: 7505 York Mountain Road Templeton, CA 93465.
Alapay Cellars offers a full-bodied Tempranillo. Tasting room: 415 1st Street, Avila Beach, CA 93424
More about Tempranillo
Tempranillo arrived in California under the name Valdepeñas, and it was grown in the Central Valley at the turn of the 20th century. In California, the soils and temperature of Paso Robles have been compared to those of northern Spain, and Tempranillo grown on the Central Coast is rapidly growing in popularity.
Tempranillo has been grown on the Iberian Peninsula as early as 300 BC. Tempranillo is the main grape used in the Rioja region in Spain, as well as in the up-and-coming Ribera del Duero region. Tempranillo was the third most widely planted wine grape variety worldwide, of which 88% of the wine varieties are in Spain.
Tempranillo is also known as as Ull de Llebre, Cencibel, and Tinta del Pais in Spain, Aragonez or Tinta Roriz in Portugal.
The following image, and at the top of this page, is of Tempranillo grapes grown in Paso Robles, taken by the famous photographer, George Rose.