Close Menu

Time for Grenache

Grenache is seeking to claim its place in the spotlight this summer at the first ever International Grenache Symposium.

A delegation of the wine world’s most highly regarded Grenache fans will gather from 5-6 June at La Verrière, deep in the variety’s southern Rhône heartland.

Originally the brainchild of neighbours Walter McKinley from Domaine de Mourchon and Nicole Rolet of Le Chêne Bleu, plans for this symposium have quickly gathered pace, with Stephen Spurrier and Michel Bettane co-chairing an international field of delegates.

The current guestlist highlights not only the broad international scope of Grenache, but also the passion it inspires in so many of the world’s most highly regarded producers.

These include Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon in California, Charles Back of Fairview in Paarl, Telmo Rodriguez of Remelluri in Rioja, Alessio Planeta of Planeta in Sicily, Dominik Huber of Terroir Al Limit in Priorat and Chester Osborn of d’Arenberg in McLaren Vale.

There is also a strong local contingent, with Michel Chapoutier, Philippe Guigal, Nicolas Jaboulet and Marcel Richaud all adding their expertise to the mix, along with a host of international wine writers, oenologists and trade representatives.

The programme of tastings, presentations and Q&A sessions has been put together with the aim of showcasing the quality and versatility of Grenache, while at the same time examining some of the challenges and opportunities for this often overlooked variety.

Hugo Levingstone, whose role within the small team at Domaine de Mourchon encompasses everything from vineyard management to winemaking and international business development, explained his own passion for working with Grenache, saying: “They’re powerful wines, of course they are, but what I find fascinating is the vast difference in expression between young Grenache and old Grenache. I love its opulence.”

From a marketing perspective, Levingstone drew attention to the potential value a clear focus on this variety could bring to its native Rhône. “France really does have a problem in communicating its wines to the consumer. The appellations are a complete minefield, but if we can communicate a single varietal then we can compete on a platform with the rest of the world.”

The June event will also raise the issue of how to ensure an ongoing, evolving discussion forum for Grenache, with the aim of ensuring future symposia in other key regions for this highly international variety. As Levingstone says, “Let’s take it around the world and get a following together.”

For more information, click here

Gabriel Savage, 29.04.2010

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No