Grenache

Although Grenache is believed to have originated in Spain, today it is chiefly associated with French regions of Rhône and Languedoc-Roussillon (north of the Spanish border itself). It thrives in hot and dry climates, producing tiny and highly concentrated fruit. In fact, Grenache is able to withstand some of the most extreme conditions and produce remarkably vivid and vibrant wines still. A charismatic softness, mouth-watering juiciness with abundance of sweet, ripe fruit is its undeniable hallmark. How this deceptively faint in colour, almost translucent wine, which emerges from such harsh surroundings and reaches extraordinary levels of ripeness everywhere in the world is a true wonder of nature you would expect to find in one of Sir David Attenborough's breathtaking documentaries.

The oldest Grenache vineyards in the world with still productive vines dating back to 1838 are to be found in Australia. In less that 30 years on in 1862 one of the leading wine critics of the time, Ebenezer Ward from Adelaide, reported that Grenache was 'thriving better than any other kind.' Today, it is widely planted across Australia's winemaking regions and one of the most reputable producers of Old Vine Grenache is Clarendon Hills in McLaren Vale, where Grenache was originally planted. Stunning expressions of Barossa Valley's Grenache come from Torbreck, the founder of which - David Powell - referred to Grenache as "the Pinot Noir of the south".

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