Red garnacha is one of the most planted grape varieties in the world. Morphologic and genetic studies name Spain as its place of origin. In particular the Aragon area which is also the place with the greatest garnacha variety diversity. The name garnacha derives from a deep colour gown worn by judges and advisors to the king of Spain.
The berry contains high levels of sugar and makes strong rosés with sweet red flavours, namely raspberries and strawberries. Garnacha based red wines produce more complex flavours, blackcurrants, black cherries, black olives, coffee, fig, pepper, spice and roasted nuts.
Garnacha is the main grape used in the famous Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and Priorat wines. Because it is widely planted and used, the variety is hardly ever mentioned in wine labels.
Garnacha grapes are thin-skinned, low in tannins and acids. As the skin is where red wines get their colour from, garnacha young wines are transparent and lack tannins which enhance the flavour of the wine and body over time.
They are therefore generally blended with other reds thick-skinned (for a darker colour) with tannins (for colour, flavour and structure). Old garnacha vines however (>75yrs) yield fewer more concentrated grapes, thicker skins and high tannin content.
Our older garnacha vines were planted in 1987 which makes most of them >30 years old.
The grape is widely used in Australia on the GSM blend of red wines where Garnacha is combined with Monastrell and Syrah. This blend originated from the one used in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Garnacha is the main grape bringing in alcohol, berry and spice. Syrah brings full body, dark colour, black fruits and pepper. And lastly Monastrell contributes with sweet plums, blackberry and game flavours to the mix.