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Garnacha/Grenache: one European grape, endless possibilities

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Wine history defines cultural territories, united by shared traditions and viticultural landscapes, that transcend political and economic borders. This could certainly be said of the European regions in North-Eastern Spain and the South of France where Garnacha (a.k.a. Grenache) has its spiritual home in Europe, and nearly 93 % of the world’s Garnacha/Grenache vines are planted. Although European Garnacha/Grenache is now one of the world’s most widely planted grape varieties, its origin can be traced back to this corner of the Mediterranean where it remains at the core of the regions’ identity.

Three PGIs and 14 PDOs within Roussillon Geographical Indications and five Spanish Protected Designations of Origin (DO Calatayud, DO Campo de Borja, DO Cariñena, DO Somontano and DO Terra Alta), have now joined forces, supported by European Union AGRIP funds, to promote Garnacha/Grenache, highlighting that its full potential is best harnessed in its European birthplace. Although only a handful of vines survived the terrible phylloxera blight in the late 19th century, Europe is where some of the world’s oldest Garnacha/Grenache plants can be found, resulting on low yields, fruits of incredible concentration and complexity, with the deep roots stablished on poor and dry soils, allowing terroir to truly come through in each bottle.

As part of the European Union campaign to promote high quality agricultural products, European Garnacha/Grenache Quality Wines carry guarantee of their provenance and quality, with their regional names, characteristics and products protected by EU Geographical Indications quality schemes (Protected Designation of Origin, PDO and Protected Geographical Indication, PGI). These ensure excellent quality, European standards covering safety, traceability, authenticity, labelling, respect for the environment and sustainability, as well as the characteristics of EU agricultural and food products, including quality, taste, diversity and traditions, among other aspects.

European Garnacha/Grenache’s versatility and expressiveness lends itself to a variety of terroirs and winemaking approaches, translated into a variety of styles, from sparkling to still (whites, rosés or reds; either light or full bodied) and even fortified sweet wines, all with multiple food pairing possibilities. Highly sensitive to variations in growing conditions, in both time and place,  the variety requires winemakers attuned to how European Garnacha/Grenache, from each given terroir and vintage, can be best interpreted and handled. An art that winemakers in Mediterranean Europe have mastered, building upon centuries of knowledge passed on from one generation to the next.

This joint venture of Spanish and French producers is a tribute to this European legacy, as well as a shared commitment to promote terroir-led expressions of European Garnacha/Grenache, invest in the best viticultural and winemaking practices, and work with a focus on quality and sustainability. The variety’s resilience and adaptiveness, especially when grown on the terroirs where it historically developed, in fact make it particularly suited to face the challenges of erosion, drought and climate change.

Join us on a journey of discovery across the European landscapes where Garnacha/Grenache was born and continues to thrive. Each wine will tell a fascinating story of tradition, history and craft.

Discover more about European Garnacha/Grenache here

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