Southern Oregon Tempranillo Meet Tempranillo- The bigger, bolder Oregon Wine.
When you hear Oregon wine, most think Willamette Valley Pinot noir. Now there is another varietal gaining in popularity and putting a spotlight on Southern Oregon- Tempranillo.
Tempranillo is the most popular red varietal in Spain. If you have ever tried wine from Rioja, Ribera del Duero, or Toro regions of Spain you were probably drinking a Tempranillo. Tempranillo from the Spanish word Temprano, meaning early, ripens earlier than other Spanish varietals. Known for their bold flavors of cherry, fig, cedar, and tobacco and the appealing tannins Southern Oregon Tempranillo is a change from the lighter bodied Willamette Valley Pinot noir up north.
Earl Jones pioneered Tempranillo in Southern Oregon when he first planted his vines in 1995. After much research he discovered that Oregon or more specifically the Umpqua Valley, Rogue Valley, and Applegate Valley were the best place to grow Tempranillo in the United States. Tempranillo grows best in areas where late spring and early fall frosts are unlikely, and areas with shorter but warmer, drier, growing seasons. Unlike the Willamette Valley where the average yearly rainfall can be 60 inches Southern Oregon sees significantly less with an average around 18 inches. Southern Oregon also has on average 195 days of sun where the Willamette Valley averages 120 days.
Southern Oregon Tempranillo landed on the map in 2001 when Earl Jone's won double-gold and "best in class" in the 2001 San Francisco International Wine Competition. Since then Tempranillo has become one of the signature grape varietals planted in the area.
At The Urban Cork, located in downtown Medford, Linda Donovan serves over a dozen different Tempranillo wines. From her low-intervention L. Donovan brand to Tempranillo rosés, and even several Tempranillo blancos.
Explore Southern Oregon Tempranillo and the many other diverse wines Umpqua Valley, Rogue Valley, and the Applegate Valley have to offer by visiting our online store.
Linda Donovan is the owner of The Urban Cork Winery located in downtown Medford. Linda is a familiar face in the tasting room and well known for her incredible low intervention L. Donovan wines, but she has also had a hand in making Southern Oregon wine what is it today.
Global experience With more than 22 years of global experience in winemaking, Donovan is a leader in the Southern Oregon wine industry. She began her career while earning a degree in Enology at the University of California/Davis. An internship in 1992 led her to Robert Mondavi Winery to assist with the harvest. After graduation, Donovan moved to the Napa Valley and quickly acquired the production skills required to make quality wines. She was promoted to research enologist at Beaulieu Vineyard where she was responsible for all experimental (small lot) winemaking. While at Beaulieu, Donovan co-wrote a technical paper on Pinot noir clones that was published in the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture. She was also lucky enough to work with one of the world’s greatest winemakers, Andre Tchelistcheff. After a stint in Australia, Donovan moved to the Sonoma Valley to focus on making world-class Pinot noir at Flowers Vineyard and Winery. Commitment to Southern Oregon wines Itching to begin her own business, Donovan relocated to Southern Oregon in 2000. She planted a 10-acre vineyard and managed a small agricultural operation. She also launched a consulting company, L. Donovan Wines, and began assisting regional winemakers and vineyardists. In 2004, Donovan was commissioned by Agate Ridge Vineyard in Eagle Point, Ore., to build a winemaking facility. Working closely with the owner, Donovan designed, equipped and made the first vintage of wines in the 6,000-square-foot winery. Two years later, Donovan helped establish Cowhorn Vineyard and Garden in the Applegate Valley, where she made the first Biodynamic® wines in Southern Oregon. Much of Donovan’s success is derived from her ability to craft distinct yet well-balanced wines. She has a full understanding of the chemistry and microbiology of winemaking, coupled with complete knowledge of processing and equipment.
Pallet Wine Company Established in 2009, Pallet is a custom crush (wine processing) facility created exclusively to serve Southern Oregon’s rapidly growing wine and winegrape industries. Located in downtown Medford, Ore., Pallet provides full-service winemaking, storage, laboratory, wine education, compliance and support services to growers and wineries throughout the region.
It is based in the Cooley-Neff Building, a two-story 21,000-square-foot structure recently added to the National Historic Register. Pallet’s sole goal is to craft quality wines for everyone’s pocketbook – from everyday table reds and whites to ultra-premiums.
In 2014, Donovan purchased the 10,000 square foot building attached to the winery and expanded the business.
The Urban Cork In 2016, Donovan opened The Urban Cork- a tasting room to service her 25 plus clients. The Urban Cork has become the place for wine in downtown Medford serving over 120 different wines with rotating flights throughout the week. Popular with locals and those traveling looking to explore all that Oregon wine has to offer.