The Grenache grape is a champion of the south. It can manage scorching heat, strong winds and drought. Just a few years ago it was the most planted red variety in the world. Now it is only number five among red grapes with 163,000 hectares, after Cabernet Sauvignon (341,000 ha), Merlot (266,000 ha), Tempranillo (231,000 ha) and Syrah (190,000 ha).
The Grenache Association is working on improving the image of the Grenache. The grape is much planted but not so well-known among consumers. Marlène Angelloz from the Grenache Association talked at a seminar at Wine Paris earlier in February about this grape being the quintessence of the Mediterranean. It is planted throughout Spain and southern France.
It exists, through natural mutations (like naturally occurring GMO), in three colours: white, grey (gris in French, pink really) and red. It has many advantages, so now more and more research is being done to tackle its sensitivity to certain diseases, coulure not least.
It is a favourite among many young, new wave producers all over the world. It is a warm-climate grape but wine producers, are now searching for new sites – it could be high altitude – for freshness and lower alcohol levels, says Marlène.
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