Old Grenache vines from AOC Maury, South of France

Facts About Grenache

Today marks International Grenache Day!

Time for some fun facts about the grape:

  • While Grenache goes by many names globally, one of best (and most hilarious) is “Hairy Grenache” – named for its hairy leaves, not the goatee the grape potentially sports before heading out on a date.
  • There is a white mutation of the grape, commonly known as Grenache Blanc, but it also goes by a few other names.
  • While you won’t see it often, there is also a Grenache Gris (Grey).
  • Grenache is a highly versatile grape in all respects.  It can be light in style like the Spanish Garnacha wines, or full bodied and Earthy like the wines of Gigondas.  It can also be inexpensive like general Southern Rhône blends, or fetch some astronomical prices like Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
  • When looking at simple amount of land dedicated to a grape, Grenache leads Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
  • Grenache is a heavy weight in the flavor category.  Selected for blends (due to its powerful flavors without adding loads of tannin), Grenache can range from red berries to tar, pepper, and leather.  That is a very broad spectrum of flavors to cover.
  • While it is commonly known by the French naming, it is actually a native grape of Spain.  It’s travels are of interest as it left Northern Spain and was settled first into the Languedoc-Roussillon region before finding its modern day home in the southern Rhône.
  • Grenache has a very long growing season, budding before Cab Sauv and harvested after.  This leads to substantially higher alcohol, hovering around 15%.
  • Grenache can be found in some strange and unique places on the globe, such as Algeria, Tunisia, and China.

With all that in mind, go grab some and enjoy it today!


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