Friday September 16 is ‘International Grenache Day’, and to celebrate one of McLaren Vale’s most iconic varietals, our region’s producers are gearing up to celebrate the diversity and heritage of the grape with a range of exciting events.
A group of 12 McLaren Vale producers will prepare their best Grenache for battle at The Ed Cellars on Saturday September 17, where they are set to go head-to-head with their Barossa Valley counterparts at the annual Grenache Cup event.
The Grenache Cup judging includes a panel of esteemed wine industry notables undertaking a blind tasting of Grenache varietals and blends from both regions. The general public are also invited to attend, taste and vote for their favourites.
Cellar Manager Margot Muir is looking forward to the annual competition.
“The Edinburgh Cellars continues to beat the drum for this once misunderstood and underrated variety which has made its home in both McLaren Vale and the Barossa Valley. We love its youthful drinkability, fruit-forwardness and spice and then those compelling savoury elements with a myriad of layers, textures and depth that can come with age,” said Ms Muir.
McLaren Vale producers banding together to take on the Barossa include Cradle of Hills, Vinrock Wines, d'Arenberg, Patritti, Yangarra Estate Vineyard, Jericho, Dabblebrook, Willunga 100, Dodgy Bros, Marmont, Maxwell Wines and Caught Redhanded.
In McLaren Vale, Serafino Wines will celebrate the occasion from 4-7pm on Friday 16th September with a free community ‘open tasting’ for Grenache lovers, with special guest James Halliday.
Serafino CEO Maria Maglieri believes the event is a great opportunity to celebrate the heritage of the varietal within the region.
“International Grenache Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the generational heritage of Grenache – grown in our region since 1918,” said Ms Maglieri.
“Our event will compare the diversity of Grenache by origin, micro-climate, viticultural and sustainable practices and winemaking style – with the industry advocate of Grenache himself, James Halliday in attendance.”
Kay Brothers Amery will host complimentary tasting flights of four of their Grenache wines at their cellar door on the special date. The flight will include the newly released 2016 Kay Brothers Grenache Rosé, 2015 Basket Pressed Grenache, 2014 Basket Pressed Grenache and back vintage 2010 Basket Pressed Grenache.
Further up the road at McLaren Flat, Beresford Estate will be celebrating across the weekend with an educational tasting experience to include three styles of Grenache matched to a regional tasting plate created by Adelaide foodie, Bree May.
McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch credits the increasing popularity of the varietal with the diversity of the region’s vineyards and international reputation.
“Grenache is a key red grape variety for McLaren Vale, both in terms of our history and production. South Australia's viticultural origins began in McLaren Vale and our region's Mediterranean climate continues to drive our region's wine style and diverse food culture,” said Ms Lynch.
“McLaren Vale excels in the production of ultra-premium Grenache, reinforcing our region’s identity as a leader in premium, sustainable growing practices.”