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Grenache has claims to have originated in Spain and Sardinia where it is known as Garnacha and Cannonau respectively. No matter where it originated this sun-loving grape has spread with great popularity across the world. The grape’s compatibility with regions that offer long sunny summers ensures a high build up of sugars and conversely low acidity. This and its soft tannin make it a great blending grape with firmer, more structured varieties such as Syrah and Mourvedre to form the trio blend often called GSM. Grenache is frequently grown alongside its blending partners in the esteemed regions of Chateauneuf-du-Pape in the Rhone valley and accross South Australia. Unlike a lot of other varieties Grenache needs relatively little attention and is quite happy to be left on poor, unirrigated soils. Because of this hearty nature, pockets of old, neglected, but still productive vines have been found around the world. With enough pruning, these old vines yield small amounts of intense fruit with spectacular results in varietal wines. Depending on where it is grown and how it is handled Grenache can vary from earthy and peppery to jammy red and black fruit with sweet spice qualities. It is also the key constituent (at least 50%) in the wines of Banyuls, one of France’s finest Vins Doux Naturels appellations.
With more area under vines than any other country, it ranks third in terms of quantity of wine produced. The range of its wines is a reflection of the country's regional climatic diversity ranging from the rich and sumptuous reds of the hot and arid Ribera del Duero to the light, crisp whites of the cool Atlantic region of Galicia and Basque Country. For some of the country's best reds, try the regions of Rioja, Navarra, Ribera del Duero, Priorat, and Murcia. Spain is also responsible for some of the world's finest fortified and dessert wines, the finest of which come from the town Jerez (Sherry), in Andalucía.
Region: Campo de Borja
Garnacha is the most well known grape in this region. Vines here have an average age of 30 to 50 years produce some of the best examples of Garnacha wines: concentrated, powerful and very aromatic. Apart from Garnacha, other grape varieties include Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Mazuelo (Cariñena) and Syrah. Given the difficult conditions, yields are low, hence the concentrated wines. Some lighter-style wines with obvious fruit are also proving popular, as are rosados (rosés).
White wines made from Macabeo (Viura), Chardonnay and Moscatel are permitted. Moscatel is most commonly used to create mistelas, made from partially fermented grapes and then fortified with alcohol.
Red wine is wine made from dark-coloured grape varieties. The color of red differs based on the grapes variety or varieties used.
Interestingly, black grapes yield a juice that is greenish-white. The actual red color comes from anthocyan pigments (also called anthocyanins) from the skin of the grape (exceptions are the relatively uncommon teinturier varieties, which produce a red colored juice). Most of the production centers around the extraction of color and flavor from the grape skin.