So often when I speak to guests about Garnacha they’ll say “Isn’t that the same as Grenache?”, and yes it is, but what we should really be saying is ‘Grenache, isn’t that the same as Garnacha?’ - not many people realise that the grape variety originates from Spain, specifically Aragón in the country’s north.
It’s spread through the Mediterranean is intrinsically linked to the Kingdom of Aragón’s spread across the Mediterranean, particularly the south of France and Sardinia (where it Is known as Cannonau). Garnacha from Spain makes wines of incredible diversity according to the land on which it is grown, it is exceptional communicator of the concept that terroir and winemaking is as important in determining the final style of wine in the bottle as the grape variety is, and that one grape variety does not automatically equate to one style of wine.
Perfectly illustrating this are these three examples from across Spain, first in the middle ‘Les Foes’ by Celler Les Foes, from Castellón, Valencia, from Garnacha vines that have never seen synthetic chemicals in their lifetime, light bodied, fresh and vibrant bursting with flavours of zippy raspberry, cherry and cut herbs.
Secondly on the right, ‘En Sus Trece’ from El Escocés Volante in Calatayud, Aragón. This expression is medium bodied with earthy blueberry fruit, cedar and garrigue herbs reminiscent of the high altitude vineyards from where this Garnacha is grown.
Lastly on the left is ‘Señora Carmen’ by Vins del Tros, the Garnacha for this wine is grown in the undulated hillside vineyards of Terra Alta in Catalunya’s far south, full bodied, concentrated and powerful, cassis, black fruit, and spices abound.
Three wines. Same grape variety. However, they all distinct and unique in their own right.