GarnachaGarnacha, known elsewhere as Grenache, evolved in Aragon (north-eastern Spain), and thrives in hot, dry climates. It is the world's second most abundant red variety. It buds early and needs a long season to ripen, tending to make light-coloured wines, high in alcohol, with rich, peppery fruit and spicy cinnamon notes. Garnacha is low in acidity and tannin, and is often used as a blending component. Consequently, despite its abundance, it is surprisingly rarely encountered as a single varietal.
Garnacha is Spain's most widely planted grape, where it is an important component of Rioja, and is a major grape in France's Southern Rhône and Languedoc regions. Although Garnacha rarely gets centre stage, when it is grown at low yields and in suitable terroirs, it has the capacity to produce profound long-lived wines. This is best illustrated in the Priorat region of Spain and in France at Château Rayas in Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Garnacha Peluda is a variant of the Garnacha grape so-called because the underside of the leaves have a hairy ("peluda") appearance. This variant also provides a lower alcohol content and color when used in winemaking.