Today, 17 September 2021, is International Grenache Day. And we just love grenache, so we’re ready to talk about it all day long!
A bit of history about Grenache
Originating in Spain, where it is sometimes called garnacha, grenache is also well known as a variety in French winemaking and in Italy. In these countries, grenache is most often blended with other varieties including tempranillo, mourvedre/mataro and cinsault.
Grenache is a variety that suits warmer climates. For this reason it found its way to California and Australia as the ‘new world’ wine culture grew. McLaren Vale and Barossa, both in South Australia, are arguably the regions most well known for producing Grenache in Australia.
Grenache is such a versatile variety. It can be used to make wines that range from rich and full bodied through to lighter, more elegant styles.
The oldest grenache vines in the world that are still producing grapes for wine are found in the Barossa – Cirillo – planted 1848. We love this quote from Marco Cirillo, which shows his passion for the variety, “Twenty years ago, when I started this process, people said, ‘Don’t make Grenache and don’t make the style that you’re making.’ But now it’s having a moment in the sun. When people are no longer excited about Grenache, I’ll still do what I’ve always done: make Grenache. It’s what my father started and it’s what I’ll continue and hopefully the next generation will continue also.”
Grenache is currently the third most planted variety (by hectares) in the Barossa, but historically was the most popular variety and was a major base for fortified wines.
“The significance and quality of Barossa Grenache far outweighs its small production figures.”barossawine.com
These days, you will find many great single varietal grenaches made by smaller producers in the Barossa. Blends are also popular, including the very well known GSM (Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro).
We look forward to bringing you our Small Victories Old Vine Grenache later in the year. It is currently in barrel, and we patiently wait as it develops.
Grenache and making Rosé
Described as a ‘prime rosé variety’ by Young Gun Of Wine, grenache is the main grape for making rosé in France (think Provence) and is growing in popularity in South Australia.
We think it is a fab variety for making rosé, with aromas of musk and hints of strawberries and cream, and delicious vibrant red fruits on the palate. This year, due to a smaller yield of grenache from the Greenock vineyard we sourced the grapes, our 2021 Small Victories Rosé is a blend of mataro and grenache.
Join Jules and Bec as they chat about celebrating International Grenache Day:
Grenache and food
Grenache often gives notes of berries and a little spice or earthiness on the palate. It is therefore great to pair with charcuterie, turkey or duck and grilled meats (so perfect for bringing to bbqs). And everyone loves a pizza pairing – think bocconcini, basil and ripe cherry tomatoes.
It you like something in the spicy food sphere, then choose a lighter-style grenache that can be chilled in the fridge for 30 minutes before dinner.
Jess, our Digital Marketing Manager, loves a medium-bodied grenache blend with blue cheese or a hard Parmigiano-Reggiano.
And then there are grenache rosés… Rosé doesn’t need to be pigeon-holed as an aperitif or a wine to only enjoy casually with a platter of cheese and other goodies. It can be a serious meal-time wine, and has some great food matches.
And Matt Dunne, sommelier and wine list creator for ARIA Sydney and Opera Bar (among others), had this fab suggestion:
I’ve definitely landed in dessert territory, sweet tooth through and through – salted dark chocolate tart with raspberries please!Matt Dunne on winepilot.com
As Bec discussed in her chat with Jules (video above), she loves enjoying the Rosé with sea salt chips at wine-o-clock, but also pairs it with seafood like salmon or prawns.
For more grenache-based Rosé food matches, our Food and Wine Matching Blog has some delicious suggestions.
So this International Grenache Day, enjoy a great Australian grenache!
Interested in trying our Rosé?