Skip to content

Grenache Blanc/Garnacha Blanca

Grenache Blanc (Garnacha Blanca in Spain) is the light-skinned form 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 Châteauneuf-du-Pape blend.

The light golden, straw coloured juice of Grenache Blanc is increasingly produced as a monovarietal wine, though its use as a softener in a blend is still more common. It typically displays green apple and stone fruit aromas, though it is very sensitive to its environment and this will have a profound effect of the final wine.

In hot and dry climates such as that found in Roussillon (where about a third of France's 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.

In Spain, Garnacha Blanca is grown in the northeast and is most commonly blended as part of various regional wines, particularly in Priorat and Terra Alta. Because it is regarded more as a behind-the-scenes workhorse, the words "Garnacha Blanca" or "Grenache Blanc" do not often appear on the front label of wines in Spain and France respectively.

In California, Grenache Blanc is widely grown on the Central Coast, in particular San Luis Obispo. The cooler southern reaches of the region allow the variety to develop crisper acidity and more mineral characteristics.