Tempranillo is a thick skinned black grape variety native to Spain where it is widely grown to make full bodied wines. The name originates from the world “temprano” meaning “early” – a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks earlier than most Spanish red grapes. Often referred to as Spain’s noble grape, it is the main grape used in Rioja and also in the better-suited, cooler Spanish regions like Ribera del Duero, Navarra, and Penedès. Initially grown only to produce jug wines in California, the grape experienced a renaissance during the 1990s resulting in increased growth in countries like America, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand & Mexico. This was a result of a new wave of Spanish growers who showed the world that Tempranillo could produce wines of great character and quality outside the Rioja region as well.