Its name comes from the Spanish diminutive Temprano, which means “early” as it ripens earlier than most red Spanish grapes. It’s a black grape variety with a thick skin, which grows best in high altitudes and can tolerate warmer climates. Back in the 1990s, Spanish growers ramped up production. Not too long after, Tempranillo varietal wines became more common with New World wine countries, establishing Tempranillo plantations. Medium-plus tannins and the Tempranillo grape’s neutral profile mean it’s often blended with other varieties.