A series of events worldwide are being planned to celebrate International Grenache Day tomorrow.
The idea of International Grenache Day grew out of the success of last year’s International Grenache Symposium in the Rhone Valley.
Nicole Rodet, owner of the Chene Bleu estate in Provence and founder of the Symposium, said the serious purpose behind the event is to not only encourage people to discover Grenache, but also to protect ancient Grenache vineyards from being grubbed up to make way for more commercial varieties.
Last year the first International Grenache Symposium in the village of Crestet in the Southern Rhone attracted 250 wine producers – including Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon, Vincent Avril of Clos des Papes in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Chester Osborn of d’Arenberg and South Africa’s Eben Sadie.
Events tomorrow include a Grenache wine treasure hunt in South Africa run by wine journalist Michael Fridjhon, in Australia renowned producers such as Hewitson, D’Arenberg, Henschke and Torbreck are supporting the event, as are wine retailers and other professionals in California, Spain, Hong Kong, Brazil, London and Singapore.
‘Grenache, Garnacha, Cannonau… no matter how you say it, most people have enjoyed it without knowing it, in their glass of rosé, Châteauneuf du Pape and even on its own.
‘Growers love it because of its deep-root system, high yields and resistance to drought. Wine connoisseurs appreciate its velvety mouth-feel, and we are hoping everyone will come to know and love it as an exceptional wine to pair with food or on its own.’
As part of the event, a survey has been launched In an attempt to find out exactly how much people really know about the world’s most popular grape varieties.
Respondents are asked which countries they associate with each grape, whether they consider it a grape that makes expensive or cheap wine, and so on.
‘The results that we have had so far are fascinating,’ organiser Robert Joseph said. ‘Particularly when it comes to grapes which are known by two different names – you’d be surprised how many people don’t know they are the same thing.’
Interim results will be announced tomorrow, 23 September, with the full survey announced shortly afterwards.
Written by Adam Lechmere