Grenache, also identified as Garnacha (gahrr-NAH-chah) in Spain or Cannonau (can-na-NOW) in Italy, thrives in dry, warm to hot growing locations. This grape is commonly blended with Syrah and Mourvèdre throughout southern France and in the United States— versus being liberally blended with Tempranillo in Spain. Because of the grape’s easy ability to obtain sugar levels, ample alcohol levels are usually a typical characteristic in this wine. Grenache has the ability to produce simple fruity rosés—powerful age-worthy reds—and fortified wines throughout its numerous growing locations.
This grape varietal produces aromas and flavors of concentrated baked to dried red and black fruits (strawberry and cherry), coffee shop (chocolate), bakeshop spice (cinnamon and clove), garden (earth and wet leaves), and tobacco shop (smoke).
Grenache is known for its dry, acidic rosé wines and bold, intense red wines. Grenache typically maintains a medium to full body with medium acid and tannin levels and high alcohol content.
Grenache is widely planted throughout Spain and southern France. Grenache is the dominant variety in most blended red wines from southern Rhône, especially in its most famous appellations of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, and Côtes du Rhône. Grenache also produces the epitome of classic dry rosé wines in Tavel and Provence. This varietal produces the famous French redbased fortified wines called Vin Doux Naturel (VDN) in southern France’s Roussillon region, specifically in the appellations of Banyuls (bahn-YULES) and Maury (moe-REE). Grenache, or more aptly named in Spain, Garnacha, is a significant grape that produces the red wines of Priorat and acts as an important blending partner with Rioja. In the New World, Grenache thrives in Australia (McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley), Washington state (Columbia Valley), and California (Central Coast).