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L'école des vins
This grape is emblematic of all the full flavors and generosity of Rhone wines.
Grenache, the most widely grown grape variety in the Rhone Valley, is a charmer, offering both warmth and roundness of character. Famous for its upright habit and vigorous growth, it is a versatile grape that can adapt to a range of soils and growing conditions (terroirs). One thing is certain: in blends of different grapes, it embodies all the joie de vivre and generosity of Rhone wines… Irresistible!
In its seductive, lustrous red depths, the Grenache grape conceals a range of attractive flavours. Rosé versions are pale in colour, silky on the palate and packed with fruit. To reds, it lends a heady fullness and flavours of blackcurrant and rich spices. One of the clearest proofs of its generosity is the way the tannins mellow with age, to reveal delicious fruit flavours, the tang of the surrounding garrigue, spicy notes, even peppery fragrances…
It has been said that Grenache Noir is above all a southern grape variety. Arriving from Spain (probably the Kingdom of Aragon) in the Middle Ages, it took the Rhone Valley and the whole of the South of France by storm. Elsewhere, it is grown mainly in Spain, where it is still the primary grape variety, particularly in Rioja and Navarre. A world tour of Grenache vineyards will take you to many countries: it is also grown in Italy, Greece, Portugal, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, California, Argentina and Australia…
Grenache is undoubtedly the easiest grape variety to identify. The grape has a tough, thick, bluish skin. The large clusters are loaded with large, round, juicy berries, while its light green leaves are smooth and shiny. Finally, the leaves are rather rounded in shape, without the pronounced lobes you find in the case of Syrah, for example.
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