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
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.
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.
Tempranillo 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.
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.
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!