Alicante, Garnacha or, as we know it, Grenache holds rank as one of the most widely planted red grape varieties in the world and its popularity is now soaring.
Even though it’s so widely planted, historically Grenache has been underrated and used as a blending component in cheap, sweet commercial wines and never been considered as one of the noble varieties of the world, but this is changing.
There’s a few reasons for this; it’s longstanding reign as the engine room of the industry has now uncovered many historic vineyards, with reduced yields and new winemaking techniques such as earlier harvesting and gentle, extended fermentation, Grenache is becoming a fresh, elegant style.
While the variety’s surge in demand may be recent, the grape has a long history that contributed to its establishment around the globe. Grenache’s heritage dates back hundreds of years, its birthplace now defined as eastern Spain and the south of France, providing optimal growing conditions.
Grenache ripens late—into autumn—and needs the heat to ripen fully; thus thriving in the dry climate of the Mediterranean. Over time it spread to similarly hot and dry regions in Europe such as Sardinia, off the coast of Italy, Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhone Valley and notably in Catalonia as the leading role in expensive wines from Priorat.
In recent history it sailed across the seas to California and to Australia in the mid-17th century. By 1960 it was Australia’s most widely planted red grape before being over-taken by Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon; now Grenache accounts for only 1% of Australian plantings. Despite the grapes 'Old World' origins, the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale are believed to be the oldest surviving plantings of Grenache in the world.
With this increased global demand for vibrant and elegant Grenache wines from our scarce, historic vineyards we are optimistic that our special parcels of Grenache will be a sought-after drop around the world.