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Grenache Blanc is wine of the month 

Please Don’t Think About Grenache Blanc

Just in time for summer heat, Paso Robles Wine Alliance names Grenache Blanc the wine of the month. The alliance is promoting the varietal with a new video from the Paso Wine Man.

From the Paso Robles Wine Alliance:

Robert Hall Winery on Grenache Blanc

Vitis vinifera, the predominant grape species used for wine production, is prone to genetic mutation. These mutations often result in a new grape varietal with different flavors, characteristics and quality. Grenache Blanc is an excellent example – the varietal is believed to have originated as a mutation of the red version of Grenache in Spain.

In addition to continuing to grow in the Rioja and Navarre regions of Spain, Grenache Blanc thrives in the Rhône Valley in France where it is typically used as a blending grape for both white and red wines. Characterized by low acidity and high alcohol, Grenache Blanc typically adds a fruitiness and rich mouthfeel to the finished wine in the Rhône Valley.

Grenache Blanc made its way to Paso Robles in 1992 when Tablas Creek Vineyard imported grapevine cuttings from Chateau de Beaucastel located in Rhône’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape area. It was not until 2002 that the USA government recognized Grenache Blanc as a varietal distinct from the red Grenache.
According to the latest statistics available from the United States Department of Agriculture, there are currently 278 acres of Grenache Blanc planted in San Luis Obispo county. Here on the Central Coast, Grenache Blanc is not used strictly for blending – many wineries have decided to bottle the wine as a standalone varietal.

The varietal continues to be planted in Paso Robles Wine Country where the hot days and cool nights provide ideal conditions to develop the wonderful fruit flavors. There are a few reasons that Grenache Blanc is gaining in popularity in Paso Robles vineyards: the vine is drought resistant, ripens fairly early in the growing season and is easy to graft. Although it is known to be a very vigorous varietal, when the yield is controlled in the vineyard, the vine is capable of producing a wine with lasting flavors, richness and an excellent balance of low pH, lively acidity and alcohol.

There are over 24 wineries in Paso Robles producing Grenache Blanc. Although a beautiful addition to a white blend, seek out a standalone Grenache Blanc from Paso Robles to experience the delightful aromas and flavors of white peach, lychee, apricot, nectarine, Asian pear, quince and cardamom. The wine is typically beautifully structured with fruit, herbs, acidity, richness and minerality.

Lisa Pretty
Robert Hall Winery

See related stories:
January varietal – Mourvedre – Taming the Beast
February varietal – Syrah only looks easy
March varietal – Zinfandel is not just wine
April varietal – No need to travel for great cab
May varietal – Viognier Does Not Rhyme with Wagner
June varietalIs that a Pinot in your pocket?



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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.