European origin and tradition at the heart of Garnacha/Grenache wines

Origin and tradition of Garnacha/Grenache
Vino de las Piedras (PDO Cariñera)

Tradition, origin and a lot of history. European Grenache/Grenache is currently one of the most widely planted grapes in the world. All thanks to the exceptional quality it confers both to single-varietal wines and to the coupages. But its origins are linked to the warm and dry climate of the Mediterranean. This is where it thrives best, in northeastern Spain  and southern France.

Its evolution is unstoppable. While Garnacha/Grenache is now one of the most widely planted grapes in the world, its origin goes back to Europe in the region of what is now North-eastern Spain and Southern France. Thriving in the hot, dry Mediterranean climate, the varietal soon spread, first to Catalonia and then to other places where the Crown of Aragón expanded throughout the 12th-17th centuries (Southern France, Corsica, Sardinia, southern Italy, Sicily, Croatia and even Greece). In the 18th and 19th centuries, Garnacha/Grenache continued its expansion and spread to non-European regions, including Australia, North Africa and California. In the 18th and 20th centuries, Garnacha expands beyond Europe, entering Africa with the French colonies and launching the wine industry of Australia, before being overtaken by Shiraz. Until the 1990s, red Grenache remained the most widely planted red grape in the world.

The winemakers in the varietal’s birthplace (PDO Calatayud, PDO Campo de Borja, PDO Cariñena, PDO Somontano and PDO Terra Alta in Spain and Roussillon Geographical Indications) have embraced the grape for its high-quality, characterful varietal wines over the past 20 years. Today, the Grenache/Grenache variety is the best-kept secret of some of the world’s elite wines. Every day, it shines with its own light in cult single-varietal wines, linked to a very particular origin and tradition. The cradle of the varietal continues to be in the areas with the best climatological and soil conditions. In fact, almost 93 percent of the world’s Grenache vines are planted in Europe!

The age of the vines is a determining factor in obtaining these excellent wines. In particular, the old vines so common Europe, very often centenarians, make great differences in the production of wines with all their expressiveness. Old vines, which are abundant in the vineyards of North-eastern Spain and Roussillon in France, produce even more terroir-specific, concentrated wines due to their lower yields and well-established, deep roots. Increasingly, vintners are turning to these old vines, particularly in high-elevation sites with cooler conditions that preserve acidity, to make elegant, complex, and age-worthy wines.

Ruta del Vino de la Garnacha

Origin and tradition more present than ever

These vines, which have very deep roots that allow them to adapt well to the arid terrain, are capable of producing complex, elegant wines with all their finesse, and ideal for aging. Low yields often result in low productions. But at the same time, grapes are obtained that contain a great concentration of flavor and nuances of an unparalleled terroir. Quality grapes for sublime wines.

However, hand harvest is another of the constants in the European Garnacha/Grenache vineyards. Making it possible to select grapes in the best conditions and, therefore, to produce these high-end wines. It is worth remembering that this type of harvesting, whose good practices have remained practically unchanged over time, allows each grape to be pampered, making the first selection in the field from among the best, and that they arrive intact at the wineries in all their splendor, without deterioration or defects.

Classic harvesting methods compatible with the most avant-garde winery techniques. Techniques that give rise to outstanding references that respond to the needs of North American consumers. A public eager to taste European high-quality products, filled with tradition and history.

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