Garnacha is a grape from Aragon. It is yet unknown whether it is native of the region, or came from other parts of Mediterranean area thousands of years ago. But what is sure is that is cultivated in Aragón for centuries. We will describe now the characteristics of this grape, as well as curious and important information about this singular variety.
Garnacha’s unique characteristics
To obtain excellent wines we have to use the best possible varieties of grapes. One of those is Garnacha. It has singular features which makes it one of the most frequently cultivated, and also appreciated for red wine elaboration nationwide.
The greater production is in Spain, although it is cultivated in five continents. It is present in neighbouring countries, such as Portugal and France, and also in Greece, South Africa, Australia or regions as California, among others.
It is highly appreciated because its unique characteristics such as the high production of the vine, the thin skin or its high bloom content. The bloom is a white layer that helps to protect the grapes and have antioxidant and antiageing power. It also helps to adhere the yeasts to the must after the pressing process. Garnacha stands out too because it is juicy and sweet, perfect to ferment wines with no need to add alcohols.
Depending on the fermentation, every wine has different characteristics. It always gives fruity hints; the young ones present wild berries touches. In aged wines, the fruity aromas are rather ripened, and develops other features on the palate, such as land or leather memories.
Our wines made with Garnacha
The region of Matarraña (Matarranya), located in Bajo Aragón, province of Teruel, is one of the best places ever to cultivate Garnacha red grape. Among other things, this variety needs many hours of sun and low humidity in the environment. This land has both, and that is why we cultivate vines of this variety.
The skin of Garnacha is not specially coloured: it presents a soft and clean type of red. In some cases, it is mixed with other varieties, in order to give greater body, enhance the flavours and give some colour. Among those the one called Syrah stands out, followed by others such as Tempranillo, Cinsault, Cariñena or Mazuelo.
Regarding the taste, wines are generally fresh and elegant, although they can present some varieties depending on the climatology of the year, and also on the wine ageing. They are stronger if the vine has suffered an intense heat, or if the wine has aged during long time.
In order to offer just excellent wines, we renounce to excessive production to ensure their quality. We have a limitation of only 1.5 kg per vine, which will be just 700 grams in the most extreme cases.
These are the wines produced by Lagar d’Amprius with Garnacha variety:
Lagar d´Amprius Tempus Amans. 100 % Garnacha.
Lagar d´Amprius Nazarín. 100 % Garnacha.
Lagar d´Amprius Garnacha. 100 % Garnacha.
Lagar d´Amprius Syrah – Garnacha. 65 % Syrah – 35 % Garnacha.
There are many types of Garnacha, although we would like to highlight four in particular. In the following lines we will explain about these unique grapes, which are every time better known and increasingly used.
• Red Garnacha. This is the most common variety, the one that everyone pictures when speaking about Garnacha. It is the fifth most cultivated grape in the world, leading in Spain in production. In addition, its vines are the most resistant to wind and drought, and they can adapt to any type of ground.
• White Garnacha. It is a grape widely used in white wines production. It is appreciated for its high sugar level, which allows to produce fresh and low acid wines. It is also suitable for fortified wines.
• Garnacha Tintorera. It is a mix of red Garnacha and Petit Bouschet. It is peculiar because the pulp is also red, producing very intense and coloured wines. As a curiosity, some sellers, taking advantage of its powerful colour, used to water it and sell it at the same price.
• Garnacha peluda (hairy). It is a mutation of the red Garnacha. The biggest difference is that the grapevine leaf is hairy. But not only that, also the fruit has a thin layer of hair. In addition, this fruit is smaller and has thicker skin. It is especially used in Catalonia, where it is recommended for the production of Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.) Catalonia wines.
The origin of Garnacha is not clearly determined. It is believed to be of Spanish origin, specifically from the Aragon area. But it could come from the island of Sardinia. It is not known for sure, but what is clear is that it has been cultivated for centuries in the Iberian Peninsula.
One of the first references of its evidence in the country comes to a quote made by the agronomist and writer Alonso de Herrera at the beginning of the 16th century. He spoke about a variety called at the time “Aragonese”, which, by the description, coincides with Garnacha.
In the mid-nineteenth century there was a plague of the fungal disease powdery mildew that decimated the production of grapes nationwide. The high resistance of this vine made it especially recognized and appreciated. However, during the next century it began to be underestimated since it was associated with low quality wines.
Today it has been proven that the low quality of Garnacha is untrue. A bad management, the search for macroproduction and the lack of knowledge about the collection, transport, fermentation of the must and the maturity of the wine were the causes of bad wines, but not the quality of the fruit.
Currently, many of the greatest wines in the world are made with Garnacha. To achieve the best quality, the production of the vine is controlled, and part of the fruit is eliminated. This way, quality bunches -with extraordinary properties- are obtained. The collection takes place after the sunset, then the berry stays in cold temperature during transport and the early stages of fermentation. Some grow on their lees, which gives them unique hints.
Through processes like those, we achieve the uniqueness of our wines. They have body, flavour, aroma and a multitude of taste hints remaining on the palate. We invite you to visit our store, and enjoy the best wine Amprius Lagar made with Garnacha.