This grape comes in both red and white varieties. When used by itself, the word "Grenache" refers to the red version Grenache Noir, one of the world's most widely cultivated red grapes. The Grenache grape does well in hot, dry regions. It ripens with very high sugar levels and can produce wines with 15 to 16 percent alcohol. Grenache wines are sweet, fruity and very low in tannins. They're usually lacking in color, except in growing areas where yields are low. The vine originated in Spain where it's called Garnacha, Garnacha Tinta, (or Garnacho Tinto) and is the most widely cultivated red-wine grape in that country. In châteauneuf-du-pape it's used as the primary grape, although it is blended with as many as twelve other varieties. In rosé wines (particularly those from côtes-du-rhône, Côtes du Ventoux, Lirac and Tavel) Grenache is often the dominant grape used. Grenache Blanc (or Garnacha Blanca) is the white variety of this grape. Although not as popular as the red, it's still widely planted in both Spain and France.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.