It’s International Grenache Day! The holiday emerged following the inaugural Grenache Symposium in 2010, which hosted 250 delegates from 23 countries to draw up a blueprint for boosting the global profile of the wine. Grenache (known as Garnacha in Spain) is one of the most widely planted red grapes in the world. It ripens late, so it needs hot, dry conditions such as those found in Spain, Sardinia, the south of France, and California’s San Joaquin Valley. The event gave spotlight to one of Spain’s most popular varietals and most widely planted.

Garnacha typically has strong red fruit expression with subtle notes of sweet spices and floral aromas.  The wine is food-friendly, complementing an array of dishes, including vegetables, beef, lasagna and pasta.

Since the wine is often used in blends, it does not often take the spotlight. However, Campo Viejo, the leading winemaker in the Rioja region of Spain, is celebrating the varietal by launching its first-ever 100% Garnacha. Old vines growing in their original terroirs in Rioja Baja under warm climate conditions, result in a wine with strong red fruit expression, floral aromas and softness in palate.

Campo Viejo Garnacha 2012

  • Variety: Garnacha grapes from Alfaro & Aldeanueva (Rioja Baja, Spain)
  • Aroma: Cassis, violet, vanilla spice
  • Taste: Toasty spice with a berry tart and sweetness with hints of vanilla and caramel
  • Price: $12
  • My thoughts: Light bodied yet complex…berry, sweet and spicy. The wine’s spicy toastiness hit me first then the tart yet sweet lingered.Very nice! It would be a very interesting tasting to compare to Grenache from south of France.

Cheers to Campo Viejo’s new wine and to International Grenache Day!