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Black grape variety, considered by many as the flagship grape of Spanish red wines, as it serves as the fundamental component of many of Spain's premium wines. Expect to find Tempranillo in wines from Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and in Port where the variety is known as Tinta Roriz. Tempranillo has a high anthocyanin content (flavonoid existing in the grape that contributes colour to wine), this makes it a valuable component of the blend. Temprano translates as early in Spanish which in this varieties name reflects the grapes tendency to achieve ripeness early.

The wines produced vary in their character according to the location that the vine is grown in: cooler conditions will produce wines that potentially exhibit strawberries, leather and tobacco. Grapes grown in hotter conditions will display more fruit driven characteristics.

It is also widely cultivated elsewhere in Portugal, in the Alentejo region where it is known as Aragónez. It is also grown in Argentina, the South of France, California, and Australia where plantings are rapidly increasing.