Es una de las uvas más cultivadas en La Rioja y una de las variedades más populares en todo el territorio español. La garnacha es una uva versátil que, a pesar de haberse puesto más de moda en las últimas décadas, cuenta con una larga tradición en todos los rincones del mundo.
What is the origin of this variety?
So far, there seems to be no consensus about the origin of the Garnacha grape. Some believe that its roots should be sought in the French town of Nice, in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur. Not in vain, the grenache, as it is called in France, is a grape with a long tradition in this area.
However, there are those who are of the opinion that the origin of this variety is in Aragon and that from there its production has spread to other regions such as La Rioja, Madrid, Navarra, Toledo, Valencia or Tarragona. However, it must be borne in mind that there are many varieties of this vine and that each place receives a particular name. Thus, we can hear about vernassa, girons, giró, gironet, lledoner or garncho, but in essence it is always the same type of grape.
We cannot ignore the fact that traditionally the garnacha has also been known as the aragonese ink and its cultivation in these lands has been documented since the 16th century, although it is believed that since the 12th century it had a presence in the territories of the Crown of Aragon, including the island of Sardinia. For all these reasons, it is widely believed that this is a strain of 100% Aragonese origin. In addition, it is quite significant that, in total figures, this is still the Spanish region with the highest production of this variety.
Particulars of a very popular type of grape
The Garnacha vine is a vigorous plant with considerable growth. This means that its cultivation occupies a lot of space, but also that the production of grapes is much more abundant. However, excessively high yields are not recommended. In general, abundant harvests make the resulting wines less concentrated and less attractive in colour. At Finca Vistahermosa we take care of reaching the optimum point of production so that the wines derived from this grape are of excellent quality both in sight and in the mouth and in aromas.
It is also a grape that is easy to grow if qualities such as its resistance to inclement weather or its good response to endemic diseases of the vine are taken into account, with the exception of mildew, for which it is especially sensitive. This apparent simpleness of the garnacha made for a long time a grape somewhat forgotten or discredited against the other varieties. So much so that for many years its production was devoted almost exclusively to the production of table wines, until the wineries began to recognize the true potential of this grape.
Today, the so-called Aragonese ink is the most widely cultivated Mediterranean variety in the world. It has recovered the value of its origins, its status as a versatile variety full of nuances and its position as a full-bodied grape, with a high alcohol content and a complexity of aromas and flavours that make it a very popular variety.
Garnacha grape varieties
It is common to refer to the Garnacha grape as if it were a single variety. But the truth is that this denomination includes an interesting list of variations within its genus. These different versions of the same grape have made garnacha more popular and accepted over the last two decades.
What are the different varieties of Grenache currently grown? There are four types:
- strong>Ink: is a thin, soft-skinned grape, dark in colour in contrast to the pulp. It is more common in indoor terrain because it needs a warm, dry climate.
- strong>Peluda: is a mutation of the garnacha tinta. It has a fine hairs on the skin that gives it this peculiar name.
- strong>White: contrary to the red variety, white Grenache responds better to humid and cool climates, so its cultivation is more frequent in coastal areas.
- strong>Tintorera: is characterized by having red pulp, just like the skin.
Broadly speaking, the taste of these grapes is defined by a low acidity and a characteristic fruity, elegant touch. It is true that they are fast aging grapes so it is convenient to reduce the amount of kilos per harvest in favor of a more controlled oxidation and a fermentation with great maceration that allows to extract all its potential.
How many Garnacha grapes are grown in Spain and in the world?
The excellent adaptation capacity of this type of grape has taken its cultivation to numerous regions of the planet. It is enough to underline that the garnacha grape supposes a 4% of the world-wide production. It is the fifth most cultivated grape variety in the world and is present in countries as diverse as the United States, Chile, South Africa, Israel, Australia and China.
In relation to Spain, it is the third most widely grown crop in the world and has a presence in countries as diverse as the United States, Chile, South Africa, Israel, Australia and China.