Vidon Vineyard owners Erin (standing left) and Dru Allen (kneeling left), Tiquette Bramlett, Vidon president (standing right), and David Bellows, Vidon winemaker (kneeling right). ##Photo provided

Raising the Temp

Introducing a new Tempranillo celebration

By Patty Mamula

Tiquette Bramlett was surprised and delighted to discover Tempranillo at Vidon Vineyard outside Newberg. With its focus on sustainability and accessibility, the winery produces estate wines, primarily Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with a limited production of Tempranillo from a one-acre block of grapes.

Bramlett admits the tiny block of Tempranillo is what led her to the winery that would eventually hire her. Last spring, she was named the brand’s president by Erin and Dru Allen, who purchased Vidon in November 2020. “Tempranillo is special to me. It inspired my first visit to Vidon,” she recalls.

In honor of the grape, Vidon is hosting Raising the Temp, Nov. 6, noon to 4 p.m. A dozen Oregon producers of Tempranillo will sample their latest offerings at the Old School House in Newberg. “We felt this was a wonderful way to re-introduce ourselves to the community and to bring people together,” Bramlett says.

The celebration will include food from Bar Muselet, Dos Mundos, Jory, Tambayan Restaurant and Uncle Troy’s BBQ, and music by jazz duo Bass ’N’ Drums. Tickets are $60 and available at

From Southern Oregon to the Willamette Valley to the Columbia Gorge, Tempranillo can thrive, but the climate must be favorable. Earl and Hilda Jones of Abacela Winery planted the first Tempranillo vines in the United States nearly 25 years ago in the lush Umpqua Valley.

Tempranillo grapes at Abacela, where the first U.S. planting of the Spanish variety was established and still thrives. ##Photo by Andrea Johnson

Abacela CEO Greg Jones, a world-renown climatologist and Earl’s son, explains, “You want a climate that begins to cool down when the Tempranillo starts to ripen, like in Rioja. You don’t want temperatures that are still hot when the Tempranillo starts to ripen.” In Spain, the perfect areas for Tempranillo are unlikely to frost late in the spring or too early in the fall.

Now, more than 50 Oregon wineries grow the Spanish red, something to celebrate on Nov. 11, International Tempranillo Day.      

The majority of Oregon’s Tempranillo is grown in Southern Oregon, but at this festival, the focus is mainly Willamette Valley wineries. While some of the brands produce wines from estate fruit, others source from outside sources.

Grochau Cellars in Amity buys its Tempranillo grapes from the Upper Five Vineyard in Talent for its 2020 Convivial Carbonic Tempranillo. The carbonic maceration process produces a young, fresh wine from the first harvest. Whole grape clusters are placed in a sealed vat with carbon dioxide prior to crushing to promote fermentation within individual berries.

Dion Vineyard in Cornelius, started in 1973 with just five acres, now grows 60 acres with several rows of Tempranillo planted at its North Willamette Valley site. They will have a 2017 estate Tempranillo for tasting.

Dominio IV boasts estate vineyards in the Willamette Valley and in the Columbia Gorge, where the winery’s Tempranillo is planted. They will sample several estate Tempranillos and a couple blends at the event.

Abacela will pour its signature variety, alongside Willamette Valley wineries Carlo & Julian, PARRA, Raptor Ridge, Stag Hollow, Valcan, Varnum and Bryn Mawr.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to Our Legacy Harvested, an organization Bramlett founded last year to help the BIPOC community become interested in every level of the wine business, from mentorships to education to paid internships with housing. “Vidon and the community have been very supportive of this effort,” Bramlett notes. The first internship is planned for this spring with the eventual goal of having a campus with classes offering a variety of educational opportunities at one time.

Bramlett credits mentor Bertony Faustin, winemaker at Abbey Creek Vineyard & Winery, with encouraging her take on the position of president at Vidon. She started her wine career at Anne Amie as a brand ambassador before moving to Abbey Creek in a similar role. At Vidon, she is excited about the opportunity to do a little of everything from sales plans to major envisioning, looking three, five, even 10 years out. Bramlett says, “At Abbey Creek, I experienced more of the vine-to-wine process, and I’m looking forward to expanding on that here.”


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