Tempranillo is usually blended with other grapes. It ripens early and buds late, requiring a short, warm growing season. The Tempranillo grape seems to be affected more by local climate than by geology. Warm climates at high altitudes are well-suited to Tempranillo; Ribera del Duero has a similar climate.
Tempranillo’s popularity has increased substantially in California, but it still is not widely planted. Castoro Cellars makes a single varietal Tempranillo from the Paso Robles wine region. This is a medium to full bodied, spicy wine in the classic Rioja style.
Tempranillo is used in Rioja, Ribera del Duero and the Douro Valley of Portugal. In the Douro Valley, the grape is called Tinta Roriz and is one of the varietals used for Port. Tempranillo makes up the majority of medium bodied Rioja blends. Wine from Ribera del Duero is full bodied and more tannic than Rioja. Many of the best examples are aged in oak. The Tempranillo grape is grown in the southern part of France as well.