A Taste of Spain: Millbrook's Regional Tempranillo
The Regional Range is an exciting line-up of seven wines from across Western Australia. On these up-and-coming varietals, Millbrook winemaker Emma Gillespie said, “[we can] unleash our creativity within the ranges by being able to showcase alternate varietals, grown within the WA regions that we are passionate about.”
Read on to explore one of Millbrook’s exciting Spanish varietals and transport yourself to Spain through your glass of wine.
Q: How do you pronounce Tempranillo?
This name comes from the Spanish word ‘temprano’ which means ‘early’ because the fruit usually ripens two weeks before other red varietals in Spain.
Q: Where does this wine come from?
A: Legend has it that Tempranillo was produced 3000 years ago in southern Spain!
This theory was founded in 1972, when an ancient mosaic of the wine God Bacchus was discovered in Northern Spain, dated from 800 BC. Archeologists believe Bacchus is depicted drinking a Tempranillo wine, which shows the amazing history behind this varietal.
Q: Where is Tempranillo planted?
A: Tempranillo is most famously associated with the wines of Rioja and Ribera del Duero in Spain. These two regions account for 80% of all Tempranillo vines around the world.
This varietal is also grown around the world in Portugal, Mexico, Argentina, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Turkey, USA and on home soil in Australia.
Although Tempranillo is still a relatively unknown wine in Australia, the varietal has seen a huge increase in vineyard area since it was first planted in 1994 and the country is now home to approximately 10% of all Tempranillo plantings around the world.
Winemaker Emma said, “I think Tempranillo has a respectable presence within the alternative varietal category in Australia…The versatility and approachability Tempranillo lends to a wine means it could find a greater popularity amongst wine drinkers in the future.”
Q: How is making Tempranillo different from other red wines?
A: Emma takes a hands-off winemaking approach and said: "Tempranillo offers more expressive fruit characters and a medium-bodied structure...It’s important to let the grapes speak for themselves and to respect what is going to be reflected in the wine from the vineyard.
“The aim is to have a shorter time fermenting on skins, and then to press to seasoned oak, producing a fruit-driven, lightly framed wine.”
Q: What foods go well with Tempranillo?
A: Emma said one of her favourite things about Tempranillo is its food-friendly nature. She suggested some of her favourite foods and said, “pizza, rabbit stew with polenta or lighter meals like tapas”.
Millbrook Head Chef Guy Jeffreys even recommends trying this wine with fresh Australian seafood and said, “Charred octopus, chorizo, and pickled vegetables” would be a winning dish with this Tempranillo.