Grenache - Red Wine Grape

Grenache, very widely grown...

Grenache originated in Spain, where it is called Garnacha, and spread throughout the Mediterranean into France and southern Europe. It is the most widely planted red wine grape in the world. Grenache is grown throughout Mediterranean from Spain to Sicily. It is popular in southern France. It is also grown in Australia, South Africa, and the United States, in particular in California, where it usually produces table wines, rather than premium wines.

Classic Image of Grenache (Grenache Noir) Grapes Grenache noir image first published in Victor Rendu, Ampelographie francaise, comprenant la statistique, la description des meilleurs cepages, l'analyse chimique du sol et les procedes de culture et de vinification des principaux vignobles de la France. [2nd ed.]Paris: Masson, 1857.

Illustration courtesy of the State Library of South Australia, Wine Literature of the World website.

Grenache juice is sweet. Its color and depth vary according to climate and the winemaker’s art. It is usually spicy with a fairly high level of alcohol. It tastes of berries and may be weak in acid, color, and tannins. Grenache produces three wine styles. Unblended it yields the famous Tavel Rosé wines from the Côtes du Rhône region in southeastern France as well as some lesser regional dry red wines. When blended with other reds such as Mourvèdre and Cinsault it produces the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape, also from the Côtes du Rhône region. While thirteen varieties of red grapes are authorized for this usually excellent wine, historically Grenache was the dominant variety. Grenache is now ceding this role to Syrah and Mourvèdre. Unblended, Grenache produces fortified sweet wines known as vins doux naturels in the Banyuls district of the Roussillon region in southern France.

Grenache-based wines are popular with Lamb, Pork, Veal, Eggplant, and Red Snapper.

See I Love Italian Wine and Food - The Sardinia Region for a review of a Cannonau di Sardegna Grenache wine.

Wine Grape Varieties Return to Varieties of Wine Grapes Landing Page