Tempranillo is an early-ripening red variety that is synonymous with Spain. Its name literally means ‘little early one'. It has a warm, strawberry flavour which gets a lick of vanilla when it's aged in American oak, which it very often is in its heartland region of Rioja. In Rioja it is blended with Garnacha, Mazuelo and Graciano but Tempranillo is very much the main player. It goes by other names in other regions of Spain; in Valdepeñas it is known as Cencibel; in Ribera del Duero as Tinto Fino; in Toro as Tinta de Toro. It is also common in Portugal where it is known as Tinta Roriz and widely used as a component in Port production and more recently in the excellent Douro red table wines of the same region. There are small plantings elsewhere, such as South America, California, Australia and a handful in New Zealand.