Garnacha – The Food Friendly Wine

| December 25, 2017

garnacha origin

Garnacha, also known as Grenache in France has both white and red varietals. This red grape is the top grape in many northern regions of Spain, particularly in Campo de Borja and the tiny region of Priorat located in Catalunya just inland and over the mountains from Barcelona. Priorat is unique in the wine world due to its terraced vineyards and black slate soil.

Campo de Borja is part of the region of Aragon, the home of Henry VIII of England’s first wife, Catherine, and her mother, Spain’s famous Queen Isabella.

Campo de Borja’s continental climate comes with a unique twist, the “cierzo” wind that blows cold, dry air down from the northwest.  As a result, summers are very hot and winters are cold. Two thirds of the grapes planted in the region are Garnacha and as a result this Destination of Origin is known as the “Empire of Garnacha.

If you are planning to visit the area you may want to follow the “Wine Route” which runs through the wine-producing area of Campo de Borja, and boasts its own Designation of Origin, in the foothills of the Sierra de Moncayo Mountains in the northwest of Zaragoza, Aragon. This is a land that is known for two star products: wine and oil.  You will pass through   vineyards and olive and almond trees, where you can see ancient Garnacha vines, that invite you to taste these wines that are produced in historical wine cellars or in small family-run wine presses. There is also delicious local gastronomy and eight centuries of winemaking history in the region.

Campo de Borja produces primarily red wine which features clear fruity aromas that pair perfectly with distinctive flavors such as chorizo, grilled onions, grilled lamb chops and other Spanish and Mexican flavors.

They are also affordably priced and extremely food friendly. We recommend trying the following Garnachas;

The 2012 Ludovicus Tinto from Terra Alto has a big boutique filled with perfumed floral notes; ripe, dark berries; and nice touches of licorice and other spices. It is a smooth, delicious wine with a bit of an oaky undertone. A touch of spicy minerality finishes this wine with some lingering chocolate notes. It is excellent with tapas and small plates and pairs well with beef and pork dishes.

Because it appeals to New World and Old World palates, it is a crowd pleaser and affordably priced at under $15.

The 2014 Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha is slightly higher priced at $18.99 but it received a 91 from Wine Spectator and a 90 from Robert Parker making it “a big bang for the buck” It has intense cherry red color with tones of purple due to the blackberry and boysenberry flavors that mingle with toast and mineral notes with tones of leather and vanilla that create a soft and silky texture,

Garnacha is also one of the best wines to use for making sangria due to its lower tannins, rich red fruits and great acidity.

The following is our favorite sangria recipe using Garnacha;


  • 1 bottle  of Garnacha
  • 1/2 cup brandy (or orange liqueur)
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 apple

Mix it together in the containers and serve over ice



Charlotte Goldblatt

Filed in: Daily Dish