Spring in with Grenache
March 1st, 2014
Peggy Fiandaca

The aroma of cherry blossoms, sweetness of bursting strawberries, and hints of fresh garden earth remind me of springtime and a great Grenache.

Spring awakens all of your senses with its smells, tastes, and outdoor activities.

Springtime in the vineyard is truly miraculous as the vines begin to come alive from winter dormancy.

To me nothing embodies spring like wonderful Grenache.
   Bud break at Lawrence Dunham Vineyards

Grenache (greh-NAHSH) is a drought and heat resistant grape varietal ideal for Arizona’s wine regions. Grenache is grown worldwide and is especially prevalent in France, Spain, Australia, California, and Washington. The grape is often blended in such wines as Chateauneuf-du-Pape from France. Characteristics often used to describe Grenache include fruity and spicy with soft tannins. In the north and south regions of Spain, the grape varietal is called Garnacha.

At Lawrence Dunham Vineyards we believe the Grenache grape is special. We planted it because of our love for Pinot Noir (which we didn’t think it would thrive in our location). What we didn’t know was how much the grape takes on the soil characteristics of the vineyard. I can actually pick up hints in the nose of our Grenache that smell just like our vineyard after a summer rain. It is amazing!

Food pairing with Grenache is also just about a no-brainer. It goes with almost everything! The same foods that pair well with Pinot Noir are complimented beautifully with Grenache. If you are looking for a perfect match, there are a few items that it marries with especially well. The vibrant red fruits, low tannins, and earthiness of the wine pair great with mushrooms, grilled salmon, seared Ahi tuna, roasted poultry, or grilled pork chops. Try making a sauce with some dried cherries, strawberries, or cranberries to serve with your meat and fish. This will really bring out the same flavors in the Grenache.

Grilled rack of lamb with herbs de Provence will be on our springtime table paired with Lawrence Dunham Vineyards 2010 Sky Island Grenache. The recipe is available on our website at this link. Invite friends over for dinner, try our recipe, and purchase some Grenache for a perfect March celebration. Because of its food friendly characteristics, you should always have some Grenache on hand to brighten up a weekday meal or serve to special guests.