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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…

If you run a wine bar or retail wine stone…

If you are a winemaker…

If you are a committed lover of Grenache already…

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)


Ryan and Gabriella Opaz


The Great Grenache Primer

Catavino, where we build custom tours in Portugal and tours in Spain. Contact us if you are interested in learning more! We'd love to make your dream trip a reality.

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