Wines by Grape
Grenache Blanc (Garnacha Blanca in Spain) is the light-skinned mutation of Grenache Noir. Although it is native to northern Spain, Grenache Blanc is best known for its role in southern French white wines and in particular as a member of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape blend.
The light-golden, straw-coloured juice of Grenache Blanc is increasingly produced as a varietal wine, though its use as a softener in a blend is still more common. It typically displays green-apple and stone-fruit aromas and a fat texture. However it is considered to be very sensitive to terroir so can show considerable variation. Extra care is needed to avoid oxidation. It is also a significant component in many vins doux naturels such as Maury, Rivesaltes and Rasteau.
In hot and dry climates such as that found in Roussillon (where about a third of France’s 4976 hectares or 12,300 acres of Grenache Blanc is grown), the variety can struggle to achieve good acidity. However, like its black-skinned relative, Grenache Blanc is highly resistant to drought and its tenacity serves it well in windy, arid regions. It is also a vigorous vine that can reach high alcohol levels if left unchecked.