Rebirth of an Australian Classic

As one of the original varieties planted in Australia, there are many vineyard sites, especially in McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley, with Grenache vines dating back to the late 1800s.

After seeing a decline in plantings between 2000 and 2010, Grenache is experiencing a recent resurgence based on new styles, with the popular ‘GSM’ blend being the most popular Grenache-based wine in Australian exports. 

This versatile variety lends itself well to rosé style wines, which are increasing in popularity particularly among younger generations.

The growth in demand for Australian Grenache has seen the price of Grenache grapes increase from $577 per tonne in 2014 to $986 per tonne in 2019. In 2020, the average value of Grenache grapes exceeded that of Shiraz in McLaren Vale for the first time.

Grenache Variety Snapshot 2020

Variety snapshots are one-page profiles of individual Australian winegrape varieties and provide at-a-glance summary statistics on: viticulture data, winegrape production, winegrape price, key producing regions and export sales data compared against the same statistics for all wine grape varieties.

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In the vineyard

  • Grenache is an early budding late ripening variety so is well suited to warmer zones
  • It is a vigorous variety that can yield prolifically 
  • If over-cropped the wines can be simple and basic – keeping yields low results in higher quality, better structured wines
Regions

Given that it buds early and ripens late, Grenache is best suited to warmer climate regions.

Styles

A wide range of styles of Grenache have emerged, from medium-bodied to quite rich and flavourful. Grenache is important in blends and still a key component in fortified wine production.

Qualities

A wide range of qualities exist. Affordable, every day drinking wines through to classically structured, old vine examples.

1,507ha
Total plantings (2020)
1840s
First plantings

In the winery

Vinification techniques
  • Use of cold soaks prior to fermentation for aroma enhancement
  • Whole cluster and stem inclusion techniques being used for structure and aromatics
  • Extended post-fermentation maceration for tannin integration and savouriness
Maturation
  • Larger format barrels for ageing
  • Older (neutral) oak barrels for maturation 

Major regional expressions

Barossa Valley

  • Barossa is home to the oldest productive Grenache vineyards in the world
  • Medium to full-bodied, richly textured wines with red fruit, earth and white pepper character
  • Very important as the backbone to GSM blends
Read more on Barossa Valley

McLaren Vale

  • Many old vine vineyards scattered throughout the region
  • Medium to full-bodied wines with rich texture ripe juicy fruit, and spice
Read more on McLaren Vale

In the glass

Style and character

The style of Grenache has evolved in recent times. It can range from medium weight to full flavoured and rich.

Pairs with

Grilled meats, game, lighter curries, light to moderately spiced dishes, charcuterie.

Typical flavours

Cherry
Dark Raspberry
White Pepper
Earth
Spice

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.