What is Grenache/Garnacha?

Grenache, or Garnacha in Spanish, is a widely planted red grape variety that thrives in hot, dry climates where it plays a key role in styles ranging from entry-level bulk wine right up to some of the world’s great fine wines.

What does Grenache taste like?

Grenache is a generous grape variety, full of spiced red fruit flavours with a relatively high alcohol level. This adds roundness to the palate. It may also carry scents of the local,wild Mediterranean shrubland, referred to as garrigue. Naturally light in colour, Grenache is often used to make rosé. Its character is often masked in a blend. 

Where is Grenache from? 

Grenache is widely believed to have originated in the Aragón region of northern Spain, from where it became widely dispersed around the western Mediterranean, most notably France’s southern Rhône. 

Where does Grenache grow? 

Grenache thrives in a hot, dry, Mediterranean climate, helping to make it one of the most widely grown grape varieties in Spain. Despite extensive plantings in Rioja and Navarra, the variety tends to be overshadowed here by Tempranillo, receiving greater limelight in regions such as Campo de Borja and Priorat. Grenache has an even bigger presence in France, most notably the Southern Rhône, where it plays a leading role in the blends of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but also Languedoc and Roussillon, where it makes the fortified vin doux naturel. Under the name Cannonau, Grenache has a particularly long history in Sardinia. Beyond Europe, Grenache has significant plantings in Australia, especially McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley. It is also widely found in California, although is most commonly associated here with the cheapest styles. South Africa is increasingly celebrating its parcels of old-vine Grenache. 

Famous Grenache regions: 

  • Southern Rhône, France 
  • Languedoc-Roussillon, France 
  • Priorat, Navarra, Campo de Borja, Catalayud, Cariñena in Spain 
  • Barossa Valley & McLaren Vale, Australia 
  • Sardinia, Italy 

Anything else? 

Grenache has two common, charismatic mutations: the white-skinned Grenache Blanc and less common pink-skinned Grenache Gris. 

Our selection of great Grenache

  • Chäteau Rayas, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France 
  • Chateau de Beaucastel, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France 
  • Alvaro Palacios, Priorat, Spain 
  • Yangarra, McLaren Vale, Australia 
  • David & Nadia, Swartland, South Africa 

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