This will be the 21st year for Winefest on Basque Block, and it gets bigger each year.  And if you don't know what a Tempranillo wine is right now, you will be sure of it by the time the festival is over.  

Tempranillo grapes ripen earlier than any other grape in Spain, and they've become the dominant red grape used for wine over there.  Spaniards first starting using those sweet red grapes in 1807, so they've got a long history of making wine drinkers very happy and relaxed. says Tempranillo grapes "can be surprisingly fresh and fruity. However, with oak and age, you’ll find more of the dust, tobacco, and leather flavors serious wine fans crave."  Dusty fruit.  Perfect!  Boise will be celebrating typical Basque wines (made with Tempranillo grapes) this weekend at the 21st annual Winefest on Basque Block.

Boise Weekly says four local wineries will be pouring Tempranillo wines at the festival: Sawtooth Winery, Vizcaya Winery, Fujishin Family Cellars and Indian Creek Winery.  Just like Spain, the Boise climate makes Tempranillo grapes happy, and they grow very well here.

Basque Block includes the Grove Street area between Capitol Boulevard and Sixth Street, and it's part of the Old Boise Historic District.  They'll close off the whole area for Winefest this year, which is something they didn't do in years past when Winefest was still on the small side with a few dozen people attending.  This year they're expecting one thousand or more.

At Winefest this Friday, August 17th, expect performances by the Oinkari Basque Dancers, plus live music, raffles, and more than 100 wines and some cider too for the first time.

Basque Museum will host, and they're at 611 West Grove.  Start time is 5:30 pm. and proceeds benefit the museum.


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