Learn about Grenache and Garnacha

Evodia old vine garnacha
Evodia Old Vine Garnacha

About Grenache and Garnacha

Grenache and Garnacha are one and the same. Grenache is one of the principal wine grapes of the Southern Rhone and the Languedoc wine regions of France.  It is often used in a blend, along with Syrah, but can be 100% in bottlings in Languedoc.  In Spain, the grape is Garnacha. Eastern Spain is where the vine is said to have originated. It then spread to other parts of Spain and France. Garnacha is grown widely in Spain, but it is the Priorat and Montsant wine region where it is most famous. In the Priorat and Montsant Garnacha is usually blended with a small amount of Carignane. In other parts of Spain, the grape is less robust and more fruity in style. We recently reviewed the Carona De Aragon Old Vine Garnacha, a fresh and delightful wine.

We also find that Grenache is becoming a very popular grape in California.  It grows well in the Fair Play AVA in El Dorado County and Paso Robles.  Have you seen GSM on a wine label? Or someone may say, “It’s a GSM.” The GSM is a Rhone blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre.

The character of Grenache or Garnacha

There are many styles of Grenache/Garnacha from light to big, robust wines. Some consider the lighter style of Grenache to be very Pinot Noir like in character. Spice and red fruit, as in cherry, raspberry, and strawberry, can be identified in a Grenache wine. Grenache can also a more robust style.  Most often you will not find a 100% Grenache; it is usually the more significant portion of a red blend. In the Priorat region of Spain, old vine Garnacha makes a more bold and robust wine. There is more intensity in the grapes, as the old vines produce fewer yields per vine. The Priorat Garnacha wines are usually not 100% but often blended with Carignan.

Under $20 Grenache/Garnacha wines we like

Note: We will include wines that are blended but predominantly Grenache.

Foods we like with Grenache and Garnacha wines

  • Grenache and Garnacha

    Grenache grape cluster in Rasteau in the Southern Rhone

Old Vine Garnacha

Old Vine Garnacha in the Priorat region of Spain