All About Grenache

September 19, 2019

In honor of International Grenache Day (September 20), we wanted to answer some commonly asked questions about this popular varietal.

Where can Grenache be found?

Grenache is one of the most widely planted grape varietals in the world. The top producing regions of the grape are France, Spain, Australia, and the United States. Spain is thought to be the ancestral home for Grenache even though we typically use the French name for it. In Spain, Grenache is known as Garnacha.

What is Grenache?

Grenache is a grape; however, in the New World, wines made from Grenache are called Grenache. In the Old World, wines made from Grenache will be named after the cities and regions they come from. There are two types of Grenache that are grown. Grenache Blanc and Grenache Noir. Blanc is French for “white” and noir is the French for the word “black.” Noir describes the grapes because they are dark in color, but they produce red wine.

Is Grenache made from 100% Grenache grapes?

Grenache can be made into its own wine, but it’s commonly blended with other varietals to smooth out the tannins and lower the alcohol levels. Grenache can be high in alcohol on its own. You can usually find it blended with varietals such as Syrah and Mouvedre. The name GSM comes from the blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mouvèdre. It is used in many French wines such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes-du-Rhône, which are red blends that use Grenache as the primary varietal. And in Spain, it is used in wines such as Priorat and Campo de Borja. We mainly think of Grenache as being red wine; however, there are lots of wineries that make Rose of Grenache as well.

What are the characteristics of Grenache?

Generally, Grenache is known to have aromas of red fruits such as strawberry, cherry, and raspberry, and it can also have aromas of baking spices, black pepper, and herbs. It’s a bold wine with high alcohol and soft tannins, making it the perfect wine to pair with food.

What pairs well with Grenache?

Grenache pairs wonderfully with grilled meats such as beef, chicken, and pork, but due to the typical spiciness in Grenache, it also pairs well with mild Asian dishes.

Interested in trying Grenache? Shop 2016 Chalone Vineyard Estate Grenache here.

For more information about Grenache, check out The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil and


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Chalone Vineyard is the sole winery in the Chalone American Viticultural Area (AVA), a federally designated area that has climatic, geologic and geographic features that distinguish it from the land surrounding it.

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