Grenache is a red wine that you will love if you are a fan. This hearty grape can be grown worldwide and bottled in the blend and varietal formats. Its tangy, fruity flavours result from the combination of red berries and white pepper with spice. There are many identities to Grenache, and not all are the same.
What is Grenache?
Grenache is a very popular red grape variety that can be found all over the globe. It has medium levels of acid and tannin and is known for its spicy and fruity flavours.
Grenache can be a late-ripening grape and very high-yielding. This means that it needs a lot of care in the vineyard. Grenache is tolerant to windy areas and thrives in well-drained hot soils. Grenache is a long-lived vine and can produce wine with higher alcohol levels in warmer regions if left on the vine.
Where does Grenache come from?
Grenache was believed to have originated from Spain. However, today, the grape can be grown all over the globe, including in Australia, California (southern Rhone), France (southern Rhone), Sardinia, where it is called cannonau, and Spain.
How Is Grenache Made?
There are many ways to make Grenache, but the most important is whether it is produced in a varietal or blended form. Blends of GSM (grenache Syrah Mourvedre) are quite common in Australia and South France. This is because the qualities of each grape work well together. Grenache (Garnacha) is commonly vinified in South America and Spain with carignan (carinena) to create regional blends.
In France’s south, particularly the southern Rhone and Chateauneuf du-Pape, Grenache is often a significant part of traditional regional blends. These blends are usually rounded out by carignan, cedar, Mourvedre and syrah. Roses are also made from the grape, particularly in Tavel, the Rhone, and Navarra in Spain. In Australia and France’s Languedoc, Grenache is used frequently to produce sticky-sweet Vin Doux Nature wines. These wines are made with high levels of alcohol and sugar.
Like all wines, the Grenache’s flavours are strongly influenced by the vinification methods used on the juice and the vessels (steel cement, oak, or oak) in which it was aged.
What is the difference between Grenache and Garnacha?
Nothing! Garnacha refers to Grenache in Spanish. There are a few variations of this grape. Garnacha peluda (“hairy grape”) is one example of an evolved variety. It has fuzzier leaves that protect the fruit from scorching in hot temperatures. Winemakers who grow this grape variety claim that the wines are typically higher in alcohol and have lower acidity than regular Grenache.
Grenache is also known by the names garnatxa (garnatxa negra), cannonau (grenache noir), garnacha tinta and alicante, which are a mix of grenache & petit bouschet. French grape marshland is a hybrid of Grenache, cabernet sauvignon and was first created in 1961.
What Does Grenache Taste Like?
The flavour profile of Grenache is heavily dependent on the location, vinification and blend used. Grenache is generally known for its spicy flavours, including berries, white pepper, and red fruits. As grenache ages, it takes on a brick colour and shows leather and tar flavours.
What foods should I pair with Grenache wine?
Consider the acidity, tannin, and fruit levels of the bottle when choosing a dish to pair with Grenache. These characteristics can vary greatly for each grape and their blends, so food pairings for wine grenache-based are quite varied. However, grenache pairs well with grilled meats, vegetables, game, charcuterie boards, and hearty stews (think cassoulet and goulash).