Grenache (aka Garnacha in Spain) is among the world’s most widely planted red wine grapes. A high-yielding variety, it must be carefully cropped to yield quality wines. Because Grenache ripens late in the season, it benefits from hot, dry climates, such as those found in the south of France, Spain, Australia and our very own Amador County. Wines made from Grenache tend to be rather high in alcohol, somewhat pale in color and softly textured, with fragrant strawberry-like aromas and lush red fruit, licorice and black pepper flavors. Grenache is often blended with complementary varieties such as Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsaut. It is the dominant variety in most Southern Rhône Valley reds, especially Chateauneuf-du-Pape. In Australia, it is a component of ‘GSM’ blends with Syrah and Mourvèdre. Grenache also makes high-quality rosés, most notably in the Tavel district of the Côtes du Rhône and in the Navarra region of Spain.