Vino Spotlight: Garnacha/Grenache

Spicy, Evocative, & Jammy. The Wild Ferment Garnacha is one of our most popular red wine varietals. To celebrate the recent release of a new vintage (Jon's all-time favourite and one of our best so far), we thought we'd delve a little deeper into this enchanting varietal. 

Witches Falls Winery Gold Coast Grenache Garnacha Wild Ferment Red Wine

Viniculture

On a global scale, when it comes to prevalence and importance, Garnacha is almost on par with Cabernet Sauvignon, the world's most widely-planted grape. It ripens late, and thrives in hot, dry conditions, such as those found in its native Spain. 

Due to its long-ripening process, Garnacha is often one of the last grapes to be harvested. This allows the natural sugars to reach a higher level, which in turn means that the grapes are capable of substantial alcohol levels during fermentation. In spite of this, Garnacha has a deceptively light colour, and can often be semi-translucent. The result of this is a medium-bodied wine that lacks tannin, but packs a spicy punch. Due to this lack of tannin, Garnacha is often blended with other varieties, such as Syrah, Tempranillo, and Cinsaut. In Australia, Garnacha is typically blended with Mouvedre and Syrah, making up what is commonly referred to as a 'GSM'.

Witches Falls Winery Gold Coast Grenache Garnacha Wild Ferment Red Wine

History

If the term 'Garnacha' is unfamiliar to you, you might be more aquainted with 'Grenache', its alternate moniker. Grenache is most commonly used in France and the United States, where it is often utilised in rosé blends. 'Garnacha', on the other hand, is the grape's native Spanish pronunciation. Most likely to have originated in Aragon, a region in the north of Spain - Garnacha vines then spread to Catalonia, and even further south to Sardinia in Italy, and Roussillon in southern France. 

Garnacha was actually one of the first-ever varietals to be grown in Australia. Introduced in the 18th century, it would become the country's most widely-planted red grape variety, until it was eventually surpassed by Shiraz (or Syrah) in the mid 1960s. The main component in the sweet, fortified wines that were the lynchpin of early Australian winemaking, Garnacha holds a very important place in our history. Though initially utilised as a workhorse-red variety in fortified wines and basic blends, Garnacha is increasingly becoming a single-varietal superstar. 

Witches Falls Winery Gold Coast Grenache Garnacha Wild Ferment Red Wine

Tasting Notes

Once one of the most widely grown varieties in Australia, Garnacha is now enjoying a renewed popularity. Our 2018 Wild Ferment Garnacha was made using fruit grown in the Granite Belt region of Queensland, and fermented with minimal intervention techniques. Natural yeasts produce an infinite variety of interesting textures and flavour compounds. As we like to say here, wild fermentation creates ‘wines with character’. Accordingly, you’ll find that our Wild Ferment Garnacha exhibits a complex and diverse flavour palette.

Spicy, Evocative, & Jammy. Don't let the fruity exterior of this red fool you, beneath it lies a spicy kick and a smooth, rounded palate. 

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