Grenache, did you know its the seventh-most planted wine grape in the world, with 163,000 hectares of vines. Yes, Grenache is planted in both the old and new worlds, as it thrives where few other grapes can, where the weather is dry and warm (sometimes scorching!). This makes Grenache a unique varietal. The question is, what does Grenache taste like? Where does it come from?
Before we talk about the awesome Grenache, let us invite you on an unforgettable winery tour from Melbourne to Yarra Valley. Whether it’s a long weekend experience, a romantic getaway for couples, or a wine tasting tour, there’s something for everyone in Yarra Valley!
The History of Grenache
Grenache is the French term for Garnacha, the red grape’s actual name, since it originated in Aragon, northern Spain, at least a few centuries ago. Of course, the Crown of Aragon took their fantastic grape to many corners of the Mediterranean, including Southern France, Sardinia and southern Italy.
Interestingly, Grenache was one of the first wine grapes to arrive in Australia in the 18th century. In fact, Grenache was the most planted grape in Australia until the 1960s, when Shiraz took its place as the country’s flagship varietal. Grenache is still widely cultivated in warm regions worldwide, from Rioja in Spain to Paso Robles in California and Australia’s own Barossa, McLaren Vale and others.
What Does Grenache Taste Like?
Grenache is a thin-skinned variety. On its own, it produces pale, rustic wines with a silky palate and a nose brimming with red fruit aromas. Ripe raspberries and black pepper are common descriptors for Grenache.
Since Grenache has medium tannins and medium acidity, it’s often blended with other grapes to achieve balance. The Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre combo or GSM blend is popular, but producers blend Grenache with Tempranillo as well. Old-vine Grenache is highly prized since the grapes are much more concentrated.
Having said that, Grenache plays a role in some of the most luxurious and exclusive wines worldwide, from those labelled as Rioja Gran Reserva or Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
How to Pair Grenache with Food?
Grenache produces lovely wines, whether blends or 100% Grenache. These wines are often charmingly rustic and best enjoyed with roasted lamb, pit-oven goat, game, hearty stews and meaty casseroles.
Grenache has excellent versatility on the table, but the wine is not shy at all. It can and will overpower delicate food and seafood, so go for Grenache when serving wholesome meals!
Concisely, wines made with Grenache are fruity, gentle and rustic. They’re loved by connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike. The question is, why aren’t we drinking Grenache more often?
Are You a Grenache Fan?
There’s no doubt Grenache is a noble varietal; it performs beautifully in the old and new world. Delicious on its own and an excellent blending partner, Grenache is the source of some of the most exquisite wines out there. Let’s show the red grape some love!
If you want to learn more about grapes and vines, winemaking and food pairings, let us take you on a winery tour to Yarra Valley. Our couples’ long weekend getaways, our wine tasting tours from Melbourne, and our now-famous wine tours are a terrific way to increase your wine knowledge!