The organization has a long name: Tempranillo Advocates, Producers and Amigos Society.
Fortunately, it also has an easy-to-remember acronym: TAPAS.
And TAPAS has declared today through the weekend as “International Tempranillo Day.”
You should know right off the bat that this non-profit trade association is not devoted exclusively to Tempranillo wines; rather, its focus is on all varieties native to the Iberian Peninsula. So that would encompass Spain and Portugal.
Its reach goes far beyond the borders of those two countries, however. TAPAS basically seeks to shine the spotlight on any winery — anywhere — that is making wine from historically Spanish or Portuguese grape varieties.
But “Historically Spanish or Portuguese Grape Varieties Advocates, Producers and Amigos” would have been waaaaay too long a name, plus the acronym wouldn’t have been very easy to remember: HSOPVAPAA.
So, TAPAS it is, and to help get the word out about these tasty wines, TAPAS began celebrating International Tempranillo Day in 2011. On and around that day ever since, wineries and restaurants have staged an array of events focused on this special varietal.
“Tempranillo is planted in 500,000 acres of the world’s vineyards, making it the fourth most planted wine grape,” TAPAS tells us. “Until recently, this noble grape’s acreage was almost all in Spain. But things have changed. Knowledge of this noble grape is rapidly spreading, creating excitement and a spirit of cooperation among adventurous vintners, bringing this Old World variety to New World soils.”
Today, Tempranillo is grown in the United States, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, France, Portugal, Turkey, Canada, China, Thailand and elsewhere.
And that’s why International Tempranillo Day was established.
How can you celebrate? By opening a bottle and enjoying a glass or two. It’s a wine that can be enjoyed all by itself, and also pairs nicely with lasagna, barbecued meats and (my personal favorite) street tacos.
Now that you know a little more about Tempranillo, it’s time to give it a try. And now that International Tempranillo Day has arrived, you have the perfect “excuse.”