Grape Varieties G-H Grenache (Garnacha)

Grenache (Garnacha) Wine

Grenache (Garnacha) is a red-wine grape grown extensively in France, Spain, Australia and the United States. It is particularly versatile both in the vineyard and the winery, which may explain why it is one of the most widely distributed grapes in the world.

Grenache is the French (and most internationally recognized) name for the grape, but it has a number of synonyms. In Spain, where it is one of the country's flagship varieties, it is known as Garnacha, and on the island of Sardinia it has been known for centuries as Cannonau. Some believe that the grape originated in Sardinia, and was taken back to Spain by the Aragonese, who occupied the island in the 14th Century.

Gnarly old Barossa Grenache vines
?Turkey Flat Vineyards

In France, Grenache is most widely planted in the southern Rhone Valley and throughout both Provence and Languedoc-Roussillon. It is most commonly found alongside Syrah and Mourvedre in the classic Southern Rhone Blend (notably in Cotes du Rhone wines), and is the main grape variety in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

Grenache's versatility provides winemakers with all sorts of possibilities. Grenache-based rosé is one of southern France's signature wine styles. The variety is common in Cotes de Provence wines along with Cinsaut and Mourvedre, and the finest examples come from the towns of Tavel and Lirac. Near the border with Spain, Grenache is behind the sweet wines of Banyuls. (© Proprietary Content, Wine-Searcher)

In Spain, Garnacha is the second most-planted red-wine grape variety, surpassed only by its modern blending partner Tempranillo. It is grown in almost every area of Spain, but most notably in the north and east – it is the key constituent in the prestigious wines of Priorat. The arrival of the grapevine pest phylloxera to the Iberian Peninsula in the 19th Century brought unexpected benefits to Garnacha; as the native vines were devastated (Rioja was particularly badly affected) it was robust Garnacha that replenished the vineyards and helped to re-energize the wine industry.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Grenache's status was reduced, but it survived efforts to eradicate it, returning to international favor in the 21st Century. Emerging wine-producing nations such as China, Mexico and Israel are now cultivating this ubiquitous grape variety.

Grenache is a vigorous and hardy vine with a strong wooden frame, often grown as free-standing bush vines. It is resistant to wind and drought, making it suitable for use in arid climates in California and South Australia. Because it is often grown in hot environments, the alcohol levels of Grenache-based wines can be very high, often surpassing 15 percent ABV. Some Australian winemakers use Grenache as the base for fortified, Port-style wines, but its most common use in the country is in the GSM blend – the classic combo of Grenache – Shiraz – Mourvedre.

Grenache berries have thin skin and ripen late in the growing season. Acid and tannins can be variable depending on growing conditions and cropping levels, but tend towards the low-medium end of the spectrum. However, old-vine Grenache grown in schist or stone, such as in Priorat and Chateauneuf-du-Pape, can produce profoundly concentrated wines capable of aging over many decades.

Produced as varietal wine, Grenache exhibits rich, spicy, berry flavors, particularly raspberry.

Synonyms include: Grenache Noir, Garnacha Tinta, Garnatxa, Lladoner, Tinto Aragones, Cannonau, Alicante, Granaccia, Tocai Rosso.

Food matches for Grenache include:

  • Roasted squab (pigeon) with quince purée
  • Spicy lamb meatballs in a tomato and cilantro sauce
  • Beef, potato and cheese stew (locro)
Production by region Expand/collapse

Most Popular Grenache (Garnacha) Wine

Based on search frequency, updated monthly
Wine Name
Region
Popularity
Score
Avg Price
Chateau Rayas Chateauneuf-du-Pape Reserve, Rhone, France Chateauneuf-du-Pape 54th 94 $1,077
Chateau Rayas Chateauneuf-du-Pape Pignan Reserve, Rhone, France Chateauneuf-du-Pape 666th 91 $392
Alvaro Palacios L'Ermita Velles Vinyes, Priorat DOCa, Spain Priorat 700th 96 $993
Clos i Terrasses Clos Erasmus, Priorat DOCa, Spain Priorat 766th 95 $257
Cantine Argiolas Turriga Isola dei Nuraghi Rosso IGT, Sardinia, Italy Isola dei Nuraghi IGT 872nd 92 $81
Domaine Pierre Usseglio et Fils Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee de Mon Aieul, Rhone, France Chateauneuf-du-Pape 902nd 93 $92
Domaine Bosquet des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape A la Gloire de Mon Grand-Pere, Rhone, France Chateauneuf-du-Pape 980th 93 $59
Bodegas Alto Moncayo Garnacha, Campo de Borja, Spain Campo de Borja 985th 92 $42
Domaine de la Janasse Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Chaupin, Rhone, France Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1,012th 93 $70
Rayas Chateau des Tours Vacqueyras, Rhone, France Vacqueyras 1,398th 90 $121
Comando G 'Rumbo al Norte' Navarrevisca, Castilla y Leon, Spain Castilla y Leon 1,564th 94 $359
M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Barbe Rac, Rhone, France Chateauneuf-du-Pape 1,850th 93 $110
Comando G 'La Bruja de Rozas' Sierra de Gredos, Spain Madrid 2,098th 91 $27
Cayuse Vineyards God Only Knows Armada Vineyard Grenache, Walla Walla Valley, USA Walla Walla Valley 2,199th 94 $155
Chateau d'Esclans Cotes de Provence Garrus Rose, France Cotes de Provence 2,231st 92 $110
Terroir Al Limit Soc. Lda. Les Manyes, Priorat DOCa, Spain Priorat 2,240th 95 $209
Bodegas Alto Moncayo 'Veraton' Garnacha, Campo de Borja, Spain Campo de Borja 2,304th 91 $29
Clos Saint-Jean Chateauneuf-du-Pape Sanctus Sanctorum, Rhone, France Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2,362nd 95 $371
Saint Prefert Domaine Isabel Ferrando Chateauneuf-du-Pape Colombis, Rhone, France Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2,699th 93 $112
Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides, Rhone, France Gigondas 2,749th 93 $105
Espectacle del Montsant, Montsant, Spain Montsant 2,775th 94 $110
Bodegas Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha, Campo de Borja, Spain Campo de Borja 2,991st 89 $17
Pedres Blanques Rouge, Vin de France Vin de France - Vin de Table 3,062nd 89 $75
Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes, Rhone, France Chateauneuf-du-Pape 3,079th 94 $162
M. Chapoutier Chateauneuf-du-Pape Croix de Bois Rouge, Rhone, France Chateauneuf-du-Pape 3,527th 92 $86
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