It has deep roots in Spain
There is a lot of evidence that indicates that Grenache originated in the Aragon region of north-east Spain. Not least among that evidence is the fact that one of the many synonyms for Grenache is “Uva di Spagna”! As the kingdom of Aragon grew, so did the range of Grenache. It’s no wonder that the grape has a long history in regions such as Roussillon and Sardinia.
Grenache vines are "bush-trained"
Grenache vines are very woody, which gives them several advantages. They are very stiff so are perfect for windy locations such as Sardinia. Many Grenache vines the world over are “bush-trained” as opposed to being trellised.
Grenache vines also tend to retain their moisture very well, making them perfect for dry regions. One drawback to being so stiff and woody is that the woodiness makes the vines unsuited to mechanical cultivation and harvest.
You say Grenache, I say Granaxa or Navarra or Toledana...
Grenache has many synonyms and a regional name for almost every area in which it’s grown. The names include: Abundante, Aleante, Aleantedi Rivalto, Aleante Poggiarelli, Alicant Blau, Alicante, Alicante Grenache, Aragones, Bois Jaune, Cannonaddu, Cannonadu Nieddu, Cannonau, Cannonau Selvaggio, Canonazo, Carignane Rosso, Elegante, Francese, Gamay del Trasimeno, Garnaccho Negro, Garnacha Comun, Garnacha Negra, Garnacha Roja, Garnacha Tinta, Garnatxa Negra, Garnatxa Pais, Gironet, Granaccia, Granaxa, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Noir, Grenache Rouge, Kek Grenache, Lladoner, Mencida, Navaro, Navarra, Navarre de la Dordogne, Navarro, Negru Calvese, Ranconnat, Red Grenache, Redondal, Retagliadu Nieddu, Rivesaltes, Roussillon Tinto, Roussillon, Rouvaillard, Sans Pareil, Santa Maria de Alcantara, Tentillo, Tintella, Tintilla, Tinto Menudo, Tinto Navalcarnero, Tocai Rosso, Toledana, and Uva di Spagna.
Pick a color, any color
Grenache comes in all colors! There are almost as many variations of Grenache as there are names for it. Well, almost. You can find white Grenache, pink Grenache, red Grenache, and dessert Grenache.
Grenache is grown from California to Cyprus
Grenache is the world’s second most-widely planted grape. In addition to being planted all over Spain and France, it can be found in California, Washington, Italy, Sardinia, Turkey, Algeria, Uruguay, Cyprus, Greece, Morocco, Israel, Australia, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and South Africa.
It is the perfect blending grape
Grenache has a thin skin, so the wines tend to be lightly colored. It’s also low in acidity, which can cause what color there is to fade unusually quickly for a red wine.
The key to Grenache’s global success is the fact that in the right places -- hot, dry, and with a long growing season -- the grapes can accumulate lots of sugar, resulting in alcoholic wines. These traits make Grenache the perfect blending grape, gaining tannin, color and additional flavors from more modestly productive, rustic blending grapes.