Disputed Origins, Champion of the Southern Rhône
The origins of Grenache are something of a point of contention between Sardinians and Spaniards. The Sardinians claim the vine originated there and was transported to Spain, whereas the Spanish claim it only appeared in Sardinia due to the Spanish control of the island from the thirteenth century through until the early eighteenth century.
Fast-forward a few hundred years and Grenache is really known for the fine wines it produces in the Southern Rhône. However, it is by no means limited to this region with plantings all over the world.
Grenache is known for its red fruit aromas, fresher in cooler years/climates and jammy in hot conditions. There are also often hints of cinnamon and leather.
Grenache often produces fruity and rich wines. Although it has mostly been used in order to give other varieties more colour and backbone.
It is also responsible for some of France’s most complete rosés.
Also Known As
It buds early and ripens late, with varying degrees of tannin depending on the level of water stress.
Acidity is always rather low.
Works well with braised meats such as beef, pork or game. It also works well with many British pub classics! Why not try it with bangers and mash or a steak and kidney pie
FRANCE – Languedoc-Rousillon
Only Carignan is grown here in greater quantity. It is often blended with Syrah and Cinsault. The highest concentration is in the East where the region meets the Southern Rhône.
FRANCE – Southern Rhône
Here is where the grape is most notorious. Châteauneuf-du-Pape produces some phenomenally dense reds which require decades of cellaring to reach their full potential.
Lots of Grenache is grown throughout Spain where the grape is known as Garnacha. In regions such as Rioja, the grape acts as a foil for the slightly less friendly Tempranillo, where it acts as a useful blending companion. In the region of Navarra there is a great enthusiasm for Grenache where it was the most planted vine until recently.
Old-vine Grenache in Sierra de Gredos is also uniquely expressive. This is one of the indicators of the versatility of this often overlooked grape.
Grenache has a presence across the world. It is a popular variety in Australia, as well as holding a limited presence in South Africa.
California has begun to produce some world-beating Grenaches. It has also emerged in North Africa, as well as Israel.
Wanderlust’s Grenache selection