Grenache

So often the bridesmaid, so rarely the bride – Grenache is one of the world’s most widely planted grape varieties, growing well in most places where vineyards are hot, but it is rarely seen as a great grape variety in its own right, usually being blended with something perceived to be more noble like Tempranillo in Spain or Syrah in the Rhône. Even in the Southern Rhône, where it dominates in well-known wines like Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas, it has a supporting cast of other grape varieties. Grenache probably originated in Spain, spreading to the South of France and, then, the New World. It was an early migrant to Australia and was, until the 1960’s, that country’s most widely planted variety. Falling from favour, plantings were falling until wine makers noticed the quality of the very old Grenache vines that they had and developed a fad for ‘old vines’ Grenache. Today, the GSM blend (Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvèdre) is a staple of the Australian wine trade. Some fascinating and delicious red dessert wines are made from Grenache in the South of France. Known in Spain as Garnacha.