At Chronic Cellars, we use a ton of different varietals. Varietals other wineries in California don’t dare even touch! Because that’s our style. We love working off the beaten path and we love making seriously good wine.
Believed to have originated in Northern Spain, Grenache (or as it is known there, Garnacha) has found home in several wine regions around the world, most notably in France, where it is used extensively in Rhone blends, and here in the United States.
Grenache is known for its versatility and approachability with a wide range of flavor profiles, making it a workhorse in the world of blending. It can be used to produce refreshing rosés (hello Pink Pedals and Kindly Swallows), juicy, light-bodied GSMs (Love Machine and Tannin Bomb *wink wink*), or smokey, intense, and tannic fuller-bodied reds where it plays a supporting role (check out Giant Oak).
GROWN IN PASO
The Grenache grape is hardy and can withstand hot and dry climates while thriving in calcareous soils, making it a perfect varietal for the Paso Robles AVA. Over 56 vineyards in the valley currently grow the grape and 61 wineries produce a wine composed of this varietal.
While Grenache can be found bottled as a stand-alone varietal, it is more common to find it in a blend (such as a GSM) or made into a rosé. However, as you’ve come to learn, the winemakers in Paso are anything but common.
Paso is known as a region that doesn’t always conform to tradition and isn’t afraid to take risks (hell ya!). Some winemakers (hey, that’s us!) are creating wonderful blends using this varietal that are not typically seen together. This is why you can find Grenache in ELEVEN of our tantalizingly delicious blends.
Grenache has the ability to be full-bodied, light-bodied, or the perfect middle. It is intriguing and beautiful in color and flavor, incredibly strong while also delicate.
Grenache tends to be high in alcohol with bold fruity flavors (think raspberry, strawberry, cherry, candied fruit) and spicy notes (think black pepper, licorice, and cinnamon). It even sometimes shows subtle aromas of orange rinds and ruby-red grapefruit.