Simply put, some grapes and regions are just better at making wine affordable. This is true for several reasons:
1. Inexpensive land and labor
2. Many great vineyards already planted, aka dropping domestic wine consumption
3. Consistently favorable growing conditions
4. Grapes that are suitable for making easy drinking wines
You could certainly argue for other criteria as well, like that flat vineyard lands can be mechanically farmed, but these four points cover the crux of the matter at hand. Interestingly, France and even more so Spain seem right in this sweet spot when it comes to Grenache.
I'm not a huge fan of Grenache for many reasons, but the truth is that it's a great workhorse grape when it comes to producing affordable wines that need to appeal to a broad audience. Grenache is naturally endowed with lovely fruit and an aromatic character that makes even simple examples rather fun to drink. I was quite impressed with the wines from this selection and the top wine really wowed me, it's a steal at its price!
Photo courtesy roomjosh via Flickr/CC