One of the world’s more fascinating varietals is getting its day tomorrow: Grenache! Memorably spice-laden, and a key ingredient in everything from the legendary Châteauneuf-du-Pape wines to a wide array of delicious rosé offerings, I can’t think of a better grape to celebrate.
We first discovered Grenache in our own vineyards in a rather unlikely fashion; by accident! When harvesting the eastern hills of our Lytton Springs estate back in 1972, we were quite suprised to learn that one of the hills –planted in 1902– was dominated by Grenache! From this wonderful interplanted lot (it is a Grenache-dominant field blend interplanted with small amounts of zinfandel and petite sirah) came the first Ridge Grenache offering; a 1992 Ridge Vineyards Grenache/Zinfandel. With our acquisition of the western part of the estate, we inherited a second older-vine field-blended block of Grenache, planted in 1963, plus a pure-Grenache block planted in 1991. From these vines comes a wonderful Grenache that we’re currently featuring in our tasting room, the 2005 Ridge Vineyards Grenache, which I wrote about on this blog here, and here. (And just in case you want to see a pirate skeleton drinking a bottle of Ridge Grenache, you can click here.)
Anyhow, back to #GrenacheDay, which is tomorrow, September 23rd. As with other celebrations of this kind, a world of Grenache lovers will be celebrating this fine varietal across the globe, relying primarily on social media to share their appreciations. Want to join in the fun? Simply use the following “hashtag” — #GrenacheDay– anytime you post to your favorite social media platform, and you’re instantly in on the action. And even if you’re not on Twitter yourself, you can still watch the Tweet stream by going here: http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23grenacheday.
Grenache is an extremely groovy grape; it has soul, and it’s just a bit magical and dangerous. If it was a novel, it would be something from Gabriel Garcia Marquez or Louis de Bernières ; if it was a song, it would be sung by Cesaria Evora, or played by Miles Davis. If it was a poem it would be one from Neruda or Rilke, and if a painting, Pisarro, or maybe Lucien Freud. And if you skip ahead to the end of my socio-geometric proof, you’ll see that people who love Grenache are also cool, as are they magical, and just a bit dangerous.
Ok, I can’t resist. Here’s the pirate …
For those of you in the Bay Area, Ridge Vineyards will be pouring at a very special Grenache Day — oh wait, #GrenacheDay! — tasting tomorrow, alongside a fine cadre of viticultural heavyweights including the good folks at Quivira. I believe that, while the event is officially sold out, you can still get waitlisted by going to the event site, which can be found here.
So,what are you going to be doing tomorrow? Me? To borrow (and butcher!) a line from AC/DC, I’ll be Givin’ The Dog A Rhone …