Whether you call it Grenache, like the French in Southern Rhône, or Garnacha, as they do in Spain from where the cultivar most probably originates, this is a grape you will be seeing a lot more of in the years to come. I say this knowing the total worldwide plantings of Grenache has dropped during the last two decades, however, when you look at the wine’s popularity in SA, as well as our climate that suits the grape perfectly, I am sure you will agree with my prediction. It is believed that the variety may have originated in Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean off the coast of Italy, and was transported to Spain by the Araganese in the 14th century.
Grenache is also known as Grenache Noir and has two cousins, Grenache Blanc and Grenache Gris. We have some beautiful single varietal examples of all these wines which we will have a look at some other time.
With its medium body, red fruit, cinnamon and anise, Grenache is known for the role it plays in blends. These are often called Rhône-style blends. However, some fifty South African producers now boast with single varietal Grenache wines. Of these, the best examples are from Piekenierskloof and Swartland.
Grenache loves a warm and dry climate, and like Spain and the south of France, South Africa fits the bill. During our long hot summers, this late ripening grape produces high sugars and for this reason, medium to high alcohol wines.
But it is not only terroir playing in our favour. Innovative winemakers, sniffing out old Grenache dryland vines and also finding the perfect pockets all over the Western Cape to plant this tough waterwise grape, have done a lot to assure a bright future for this cultivar.
Follow the link to our online shop to find the below Grenache producers.
Anysbos Greanche Noir
Momento Grenache Noir
David and Nadia
De Kleine Wijn
David and Nadia
Bosman Family Vineyards
Join us at Wine Village tasting counter to sample some of the country’s best Grenache wines in celebration of International Grenache Day, this coming Friday.