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Grenache Grapes - The Subtle Wine Giant

Grenache is most likely the most vastly planted variety of red wine grape in the world. It grows in dry, hot conditions like Spain, and the south of France, since it ripens late. Usually, it has a spi...

Grenache is most likely the most vastly planted variety of red wine grape in the world. It grows in dry, hot conditions like Spain, and the south of France, since it ripens late. Usually, it has a spicy, berry flavor and is soft on the palate with a relatively high alcohol content, but it does need careful control for the best results. Sometimes it lacks acid, tannin, and color, and is usually blended with other varieties such as Syrah, Carignan, and Cinsaut. Grenache is a dominant variety in many Southern Rhone wines especially in Châteauneuf-du-Pape where it is typically over 80% of the blend, and in Australia it is usually blended in “GSM” blends with Syrah and Mourvedre.

            Although Grenache might have originated in Spain, it has since spread over the Pyrenees into southern France and the rest of the Mediterranean. It has been in the same grape variety a Cannonau, which has been claimed to originate in Sardinia. This could suggest the possibility that Grenache is really from Sardinia, and was imported from Spain when Sardinia was under Aragon rule.

            Grenache is grown and produced in many different regions now. In Italy, Grenache is also known as Cannonau, especially in Sardinia where it may have been originated from. There have been a lot more plantings in South Australia, especially in McLaren Vale, the Barossa Valley, and Clare Valley. The wines are often a product of old vines grown in excellent conditions, and may be very successful. “Grenache can make three very different styles of wine in France, where it is planted on nearly 100,000 hectares in the Rhône valley and across the huge vineyards of Languedoc-RoussillonFeature Articles, where it may be known as Alicante or Carignane Rousse.” Grenache is also grown in California's Central Valley.

http://www.classicwines.com/grenache-wine

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Lindsay Alston is a contributing editor for Classic Wines, specializing in Grenache wines.



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