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Wines with Garnatxa grapes

by | Apr 20, 2018

5/5 (8)

Garnatxa is a very popular grape variety. It is also popularly known as Garnacha or Grenache. In France, California and Australia, this grape is also known as Sardinia.


It is one of the most commonly planted varieties of red wine grapes. The grapes are planted in Spain because of the hot and dry weather conditions as this grape variety ripens quite late.

Garnatxa produces amazing wines and is also used as a blend in many wines. Many Southern Rhone wines have Garnatxa producing 80 percent blend. It is also used in Rioja wines, GSM blends with Mourvedre and Syrah, Cannonau di Sardegna, etc. It is also used in making rose wines in Spain and France.

Wine grape varieties

This grape variety is also extensively used in making fortified wines due to its high sugar content. It is used in wines like red vin doux naturels and Australian fortified wines.


According to studies and ampelographical evidences, this grape variety is originated from Aragon in the northern Spain. From there, the plantings spread to Catalonia and other regions.

Some people believe that the grape variety developed in Sardinia and spread to Mediterranean lands.

The grape was already established in Pyrenees (both sides) and later went to Languedoc and southern Rhone area. By the 19th century, the grape became well established in the Rhone region. Until the 20th century, there were not many plantations in Rioja.

In the 18th century, the grape made its way to Australia and went on becoming the most extensively planted red wine grapes variety. But, in mid 1960s a sudden decline came due to the increased popularity of Shiraz. During its initial stint in Australia, this grape variety was extensively used in sweet fortified wines.

During the 19th century, wine growers in California understood the high yielding ability of this grape variety and capability to handle drought condition and heat and planted it extensively throughout the San Joaquin Valley. In the late 20th century the grape became a popular name for blends.


The vines can survive even in a windy climate due to the wood canopy that helps it stay grounded but, also makes pruning and harvesting a tough task.

The vines grow amazingly in warm, windy and dry climate like in the Mediterranean.

The vines have a tendency to bud very early, but they need an extensive growing season to ripen completely. As compared to its counterparts, this grape is the last one to get harvested. The extensive ripening process also makes way for the sugar to reach the highest levels.

This grape variety requires hot and dry soil. In France, the vines grow in granite and schinst. They also grow well in stony soil in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In Priorat, it grows in schist soil.

The vines are quite vulnerable to many diseases like bunch rot, coulure, downy mildew etc. Wet climate develops the diseases in the vines.

The skin of the grapes is lightly pigmented and very thin. The older the vine gets the concentration of the phenolic compounds increase and makes the vine dark and more tannic.

Character of the Wine

Low content of colouring phenolic compounds and thin skin of the grapes makes this variety apt for making pale rose.

The wine produced by Garnatxa is quite high in alcohol content. The wine is spicy and soft on the palate. It contains hints of berry- flavours typically of red fruits like strawberry and raspberry.

The pepper spice hint along with the fruity flavours gives this wine certain individuality. He wines also develop intense notes of black cherries, blackcurrants, black olives, coffee, gingerbread, leather, honey, tar, black pepper, roasted nuts and spices.

The wine is very susceptible to oxidation and hence, even the young wines have tendency to browning (bricking) coloration. This character can be judged by the coloration around the glass rim.

As the wine ages, it gets more tar and leather flavours. As this wine does not have an intense colour and also low in tannin and acid, it is blended with many other varieties, including the likes of Tempranillo, Cinsaut, Syrah and Catignan. Blending this variety gives the wine a body and fruitiness.

Food Pairings

This wine is teamed best with British regional cheeses like Red Leicester and Cheddar. It also tastes amazing with cooked dishes such as macaroni cheese with baked veggies and bean- based or lentil dishes.


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

I have been online since it all began, with blogging and creating websites. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one of my passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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Wines with Garnatxa grapes

Also known as Garnacha

Also known as Grenache

More wines with Grenache at page 2

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