Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sept. 21 Grenache Day!

In honor of Grenache Day, a number of U.S. wineries have organized festivities from Santa Rosa to Paso Robles.

For those of you unfamiliar with grenache, the occasion is a great time to get acquainted with the wonderful wine. A lighter red, less full bodied than a Cabernet or Pinot Noir, it's often an everyday wine in Spain and France.

In honor of this great grape, find all the best organic and biodynamic selections from California in this post from 2011 right here (under $20) and over $20.

Featured are selections from Beckmen, Qupe, Tablas Creek, Horse and Plow (old vines, dry farmed - from Testa - one of my faves). A case of the latter runs $270 (at the case price) or $25 a bottle.

[Bonny Doon, despite much ballyhoo and its position as leading the charge for Grenache Day, does not have an organically farmed Grenache, alas. (It used to, but switched sources).]

Here's more about the festivities. Of the wineries listed on the release there, only Qupe and Tablas Creek are among those offering organically grown grenache. Qupe will be having special tastings in its tasting room in Santa Barbara County and Tablas will be celebrating in Paso Robles.
Grenache is associated with the former Aragon
whose former territory is shown above

You can read more about the grape on the Tablas Creek website here.

Although the Tablas Creek history, like many, claims French or Spanish origins, many now consider that Sardinia may be the source of this varietal where it is today known as Cannonau.

It has high yields and ripens late. A surprise to me - I learned on Wikipedia - it's widely grown in the San Joaquin Valley. It's usually blended in France with Syrah and Mourvedre and it constitutes the bulk (80%) of the famed Chateauneuf de Pape.

So find a bottle - go for the Horse and Plow before it runs out (this would be the most historic old vine choice) - or the Qupe - and raise a glass to this lovely light red!

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