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September 24th: We’ll Say Garnacha, You May Say Grenache, While Others Will Say…..

…Abundante, Aleante, Aleantedi Rivalto, Aleante Poggiarelli, Alicant Blau, Alicante, Alicante Grenache, Aragones, Bois Jaune, Cannonaddu, Cannonadu Nieddu, Cannonau, Cannonau Selvaggio, Canonazo, Carignane Rosso, Elegante, Francese, Gamay del Trasimeno, Garnaccho Negro, Garnacha Comun, Garnacha Negra, Garnacha Roja, Garnacha Tinta, Garnatxa Negra, Garnatxa Pais, Gironet, Granaccia, Granaxa, Grenache Noir, Grenache Rouge, Kek Grenache, Lladoner, Mencida, Navaro, Navarra, Navarre de la Dordogne, Navarro, Negru Calvese, Ranconnat, Red Grenache, Redondal, Retagliadu Nieddu, Rivesaltes, Roussillon Tinto, Roussillon, Rouvaillard, Sans Pareil, Santa Maria de Alcantara, Tentillo, Tintella, Tintilla, Tinto Menudo, Tinto Navalcarnero, Tocai Rosso, Toledana and Uva di Spagna. (Source Wikipedia) (photo credit: rayparnova)

Here in Spain, this dark, inky grape is called, Garnacha or Garnatxa; and without much in the way of argument, we can claim this sucker as our own! Garnacha was born in Iberia, and as far as we know, it lays claim to the Spanish side of the Peninsula. If you know of a Portuguese version, however, we’re all ears!! In fact, Garnacha in Spain is the 3rd most widely planted red grape behind Tempranillo, and surprisingly, Bobal! With over 82,300 hectares planted, it’s more than just a flash in the pan.

This week, Garnacha is basking in the limelight because on Friday, September 24th, we’ll be celebrating International Grenache Day. What does that mean? It means that we’ll be celebrating Garnacha in all its forms, from the rich and powerful to those expressing perfumed elegance. The goal is to bring exposure and recognition to a grape that is often used in some of the world’s most famous blends. Additionally, the campaign is being built at a grassroots level by wine makers, grape growers, journalists and consumers worldwide, allowing for a natural progression. We tip our hats to each and every one of them for their hard work and trust that our readers at Catavino will plan something special on Friday to celebrate this great grape.

We have been provided with loads of comprehensive information from the organizers about Garnacha; and we’ll reprint some of it here, so as not to recreate the wheel. We’ll also tell you a few of our favorite regions in Spain for Garnacha!

The 3 Vs of Grenache: versatile, velvety, voluptuous

Grenache, known as Garnacha in Spain and Cannonau in Italy, is a remarkable grape due to its broad appeal and versatility. It is often responsible for bringing that round, velvety, voluptuous mouthfeel to blends, which is why so many winemakers rely on it and consumers appreciate its character without always knowing to attribute it to Grenache. From white to rosé to sweet fortified wines, as light varietal reds or complex blends, it has historically and most famously hidden in blends from regions like Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Priorat – making great wines greater but lacking the “brand recognition” of varietals such as Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. (photo credit: ryanopaz)

How to Get Involved

If you are a restauranteur…

  • Introduce some new food/wine pairings, showcase Grenache on your wine list, or offer Grenache by the glass
  • Show Grenache in all its diversity throughout a meal: a rosé as an aperitif, a white with the starter, a red with the main course, a red or fortified red to accompany cheese, then wind things up with a fortified white for dessert
  • Demonstrate how versatile Grenache is by arranging specific food pairings that work with your kitchen and particularly with the seasonal cuisine in your area.

If you run a wine bar or retail wine stone…

  • Put your Grenache up front: offer tastings in-store, or special promotions by the bottle or for a selection of regional Grenache wines
  • Prepare and display special in-store signage educating customers on the nature and uniqueness of Grenache (use the Great Grenache Primer for content!)
  • Host a tasting event to feature your favourite Grenache-based wines – this could be on a regional basis, a vertical price point comparison, or a full flight from rosé to white/gris to red to fortified Grenache
  • Emphasize the quality to price relationship that Grenache has compared to other grape varietal.

If you are a winemaker…

  • Be proud! Show us your Grenache
  • Organize a visit to the vines and host a tasting of your Grenache-based wines
  • Explain the role of Grenache in your wines – how do you blend, why do you blend, or how do you select a year in which to feature Grenache as a stand-alone wine

If you are a committed lover of Grenache already…

  • Help your friends find the truth
  • Host an event and serve Grenache on Grenache Day
  • Suggest that your wine club host a Grenache-related event or feature it on their website
  • Order Grenache wines from your favourite restaurant or retail outlet and spread the word about International Grenache Day

Here in Spain, some of our favorite places to find Garnacha include the Priorat, Calatayud and Rioja. Though this is by far the limits of its influence. However, the wines of these regions make special wines that we have consistently fell in love with over time. Garnacha is truly a great grape and we love it in all its many forms, from spicy whites made from the White Garnacha grape to the perfumy rosés that are fit for any lunch of grilled sardines, to its deep powerful reds that can age and transform over time.

We happen to have a few bottles of Garnacha lying around Catavino HQ from other areas, and we plan on opening them. Who knows what we’ll cook up, but we’re already brainstorming. If you are interested in having an event, please let us know about it. Below are the instructions on to how to add your event to worldwide map. Please put a pin on the map and let everyone know about it! Or you can do it virtually and join people at Adegga.com where they’ll be hosting a virtual tasting! And if you have a Garnacha story, we want to hear about it. Please tell us in the comments below! (photo credit: oriolloret)

Cheers,

Ryan and Gabriella Opaz

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ADDING YOUR EVENT TO THE INTERNATIONAL GRENACHE DAY MAP ON GOOGLE MAPS

  • Click here (Hit Control button and Click) or copy the following link to go to the “International Grenache Day” Google Map:
  • If you have a Google account, please use it to log in (top right corner).
  • Once you have logged on, The Edit button should show up in the right hand corner above the text box on left hand side (in the place of the Save This Map button).
  • Hit Edit and go to the map.
  • Zoom out as far as you need to to see your country and location, then zoom in by double-clicking again and again until you find your exact location and street.
  • Hit the PlaceMark button on the map (looks like a thumbtack) and put it on your location. This will open a dialog box.
  • Add your name or the name of your establishment, and a blurb about what you plan to do that day, or whatever.
  • To include pics or video (ie if you decide to a loud shirt!), click here, or cut & paste this link.

    http://maps.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=guide.cs&guide=21670&topic=21676&answer=144364#photos

  • Hit Save, then Done.

The Great Grenache Primer

  • http://twitter.com/ricard67 ricard67

    “Garnacha in Spain is the 3rd most widely planted grape behind Tempranillo, and surprisingly, Bobal”.

    Not true. The most widely planted variety in Spain is Airén (about 30% of the total surface), a white variety.

  • http://twitter.com/cortesdecima cortesdecima

    We grow and make a varietal bottling of Aragonez aka Aragonês here in the Alentejo. In the Douro it is known as Tinta Roriz. This variety is synonymous to the Spanish Tempranillo, not to Grenache. Some confusion here.

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan Opaz

    You are correct sir, it should read: red grape

  • http://www.catavino.net Ryan Opaz

    I found that odd too, and wanted more feedback. I know Aragonez/Aragonês is Tempranillo, just wondering if it was ever mis-labeled at one time someplace!

  • Fabio

    I’ve added a Garnacha Tasting event (in Madrid) ton Google Maps. Last night, I managed to organize 4 local Garnacha producers (incl. myself) and 1 owner of a wine bar, and about 15-20 wine users do do it!

  • Fabio (Vinos Ambiz)

    Confirmed! Garnacha tasting, with 2 producers, 1 winebar owner and 16 wine users. Loud shirts optional (but I’m wearing mine) La Cave du Petit, c/Ponzano 93, Madrid; from 21:00 Thurs to 01:00 Fri