The Why of Tempranillo

by Chris Russell, Contributor

At 2Hawk Vineyard & Winery, we’re proud of our handcrafted, estate-grown wines. If you’ve visited our tasting room or our online store, you may already be familiar with some of our wines, such as Tempranillo, Viognier, or Malbec—just to name a few. But why do we choose to cultivate these varieties specifically? In this post, we’ll explore how our location influences the types of wine we produce—and why Tempranillo is right at home here at 2Hawk.

Wine in the Rogue Valley

Together, climate and soil influence the chemistry and organoleptic quality of the harvested fruit.
As we’ve mentioned before, the Rogue Valley is a stellar place for growing exceptional fruit. We enjoy a favorable climate and a diverse array of soils and microclimates in which many different varieties of wine grapes thrive. Climate and soil do more than determine which varieties of grapes grow best, however. Together, they influence the chemistry (e.g., sugar content and acidity) and organoleptic quality (aroma and flavor) of the harvested fruit.

This means the same variety of grape grown in two different places can result in two distinctive wines. For example, Chardonnay produced in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley is quite different from Chardonnay made in the Burgundy region of France. Thanks to the Rogue Valley’s diversity, the same can also be true of two Rogue Valley wines grown just miles apart. Choosing the right varieties for a vineyard requires closely examining climate, soil, and other environmental factors to determine which varieties have the best capacity to make great wines given these variables.

2Hawk Vineyard and Winery Bottle of Darow Series 2016 TempranilloEnter Tempranillo

Tempranillo is a grape variety that benefits from balance. A deep-red grape with a thick skin, it needs warm weather to produce the natural sugar in the fruit and accumulate color in the skins. At the same time, cooler temperatures help Tempranillo preserve acidity and promote elegance. In its native Spain, Tempranillo reaches its peak in the Ribera del Duero region, where hot summer days give way to cool nights, allowing the fruit to reach maximum winemaking potential.

Surprisingly, Southern Oregon—the Rogue Valley in particular—mirrors the Ribera del Duero region’s climate almost perfectly. Overall temperatures are similar, with warm, dry days during the growing season punctuated by cool, breezy evenings—echoing the day/night temperature variation, or diurnal swing, of Ribera del Duero. As a result, Tempranillo thrives throughout Southern Oregon. Many even consider it to be the region’s signature grape.

In its native Spain, Tempranillo reaches its peak in the Ribera del Duero region, where hot summer days give way to cool nights, allowing the fruit to reach maximum winemaking potential.

2Hawk Vineyard and Winery Bottle of 2016 TempranilloTempranillo at 2Hawk

At 2Hawk, Tempranillo is a natural choice for making exceptional wine. It thrives in our climate and ancient volcanic soils, enabling us to showcase the special character of our vineyard site and region. For us, Tempranillo has been particularly successful: our 2015 Darow Series Tempranillo was the first to earn our special Darow Series designation, emerging as a truly incredible wine with distinct varietal character. Additionally, our carefully applied sustainable vineyard management practices allowed our 2014 planting of Tempranillo to yield stunning results in our 2016 Tempranillo, showcasing fruit of remarkable balance, depth, and ripeness for such juvenile vines. Given what we’ve seen already, we’re deeply excited about the future potential of Tempranillo at 2Hawk.

Award-Winning Tempranillos

Given what we’ve seen already, we’re deeply excited about the future potential of Tempranillo at 2Hawk.
Guests and critics agree—2Hawk made the right choice in Tempranillo. Wine Enthusiast awarded 92 points and Editor’s Choice to our 2015 Darow Series Tempranillo, which also garnered Gold at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

Following in its footsteps, 2Hawk’s 2016 Tempranillo earned 89 points from Wine Enthusiast, Gold at the Las Vegas Global Wine Awards, and Silver at the TEXSOM International Wine Awards.

Learn More

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at why Tempranillo is one of the wines that we’re proud to produce. If you decide to try our Tempranillo for yourself—whether shopping online or in our rustically elegant tasting room—we’re sure you’ll agree it’s a great expression of our vineyard’s unique character. Do you have any questions about our wines or the winemaking process? If so, please comment below, or reach out to us directly via our Contact page. We’d love to hear from you!

Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about Rogue Valley wines, here are a few ways:

  1. Want to find out why May is one of our favorite months of the year? Find out in our last post, 2Hawk Wine Club Spring 2019 Releases.
  2. Visit the tasting room to sample our current wines.
  3. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with the latest happenings.

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2335 North Phoenix Road | Medford, OR | 541.779.wine