It’s Tempranillo Time!


This weekend, Lodi welcomes wine lovers with its fifth annual Tour of Tempranillo.

Tempranillo is a red grape varietal of Spanish origin and the fourth most widely planted wine grape in the world (behind cabernet sauvignon, merlot and airen). Known as the “Cabernet of Spain” because of its structure and popularity, it produces savory wines with red and purple fruit characteristics (think plum and cherry) and often displays notes of leather, tobacco, spice and herbs, particularly with age.


While made most famous in the Rioja region of Spain, it turns out, according to UC Davis, that tempranillo tends to thrive where Zinfandel grows well. The vines experience a similarly timed budbreak, but tempranillo ripens earlier. (In fact, tempranillo references the word “temprano,” which means early.) As wine lovers may know, Lodi is known as the “Zinfandel Capital of the World” so it makes sense that tempranillo is also making an impressive showing in this wine region.

If you’re ready to warm up with a glass of tempranillo, you can visit these Lodi wineries. Each will be showcasing and celebrating their own versions of this hearty wine. (Reservations are required.)


Bokisch Vineyards

Wines: 2017 Tempranillo, 2017 Estate Tempranillo and 2014 Gran Reserve Tempranillo
On Saturday, the Smokin Hot Meats & Treats food truck will be on hand, and on Sunday, visitors can enjoy live acoustic music as they taste through the tempranillo.

Twisted Barrel

Wines: 2017 Lodi Tempranillo and barrel tastings of 2018 Tempranillo
Live music on Saturday and Sunday

Drava Wines

Wines: 2017 Tempranillo2017 Sangiovese/Tempranillo Blend2015 Garnacha2015 Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre blend
Guests will also be treated to baconwrapped stuffed dates.

Estate Crush

Wines: Four tempranillos including Hunters Oak 2012, Reed 2012, Sunland Vintage 2015 and Tall House Vineyards 2012

McCay Cellars

Wines: Lot 13 Estate Vineyard Tempranillo 2016, and Library Tempranillo
Both wines will be paired with cheese!

St. Amant Winery

Wines: There are two options:

  • In person—Current release of tempranillo and a few Spanish and Portuguese varietal wines.
  • At homeA fourpack of wines is available to go and includes current release tempranillo and touriga, 2014 Tempranillo and 2016 Touriga.

McConnell Estates

Wines: Vertical flight of Estate Tempranillo

Riaza Wines

Wines: 7 vintages of tempranillo, beginning with 2013, and including barrel samples of 2018 and 2019