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Michael Fragos from Chapel Hill Winery

From a grape growing perspective, the variety requires a long, warm and dry ripening season and as the variety has relatively thin grape skins it can be susceptible to disease. One of the many virtues of these resilient old vines is that they are stressed, which results in low grape yields, smaller berries and thicker grape skins, which are packed full of delicious flavour and silky tannins. This is one of the main reasons that McLaren Vale Grenache is so distinctive with its berry fruits, spice and floral flavours and textural palate. McLaren Vale enjoys a vibrant food culture, the enjoyment of wine at the lunch or dinner table has always influenced our wine styles. Grenache is the ultimate food wine, it is compatible with so many different cuisines and food styles as it's balanced and delicate nature is never intrusive. It is the go to wine for our cellar lunches and it has never disappointed.

Grenache was first planted in Australia in the 1800s and was the backbone of the fortified winemaking and generic blended reds that founded the Australian wine industry. It was Australia’s most planted variety until it was surpassed by Shiraz in mid-1960s and it still one of the most planted varieties in the world. Looking back, I have quite a sentimental attachment with the variety. I grew up on our family vineyard in McLaren Vale and the Grenache block was planted the year I was born. I harvested my first grapes when I was six - Grenache, of course!- and from that year on I have fond memories of the annual family ritual of making, by hand, a barrel of Grenache wine. My father was so proud of these wines and it gave him so much pleasure to see others enjoying his wine. Admittedly, this is exactly what I now feel with our wines.

The Shorty's Pick from

Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill 2019 Bush Vine Grenache

Communicating a rich sense of place since its very first vintage in 1975, Chapel Hill always show the best of McLaren Vale. This wine draws on fruit from old and low-yielding Grenache vines: bright, with some soft peppery spice, lovely savoury tannins and mouth-watering acidity.

Aphelion Confluence Grenache

The rise of Aphelion, since first vintage in 2014, has been rapid and widely celebrated. Rob and Louise Mack, the duo behind the brand, are now fervently watched by the wine community, bringing stacks of awards and demand for each new release.

Bondar Rayner Vineyard Grenache

Sourced from a tiny block of 48-year old Grenache vines, planted in the sand in the celebrated McLaren Vale region. Layers of complexity in the wine are all built for structure around the delightfully aromatic pure Grenache fruit.

Samuel's Gorge Grenache

Gnarly old bush vines hailing from the sandy soils of the part of McLaren Vale known as Blewitt Springs yield tight bunches of small berries, full of contraction and complexity. Elegant yet serious, with bright red berry vibrancy and fine and silky tannins, this wine lingers and lingers.

Kay Brothers Grenache

A soft and elegant wine, showcasing the best of McLaren Vale. Planted on the eastern facing slope below the winery, the wine is fermented in open-top fermenters and basket pressed, with a short term in seasoned French oak puncheons. Elegant, juicy and expressive.

Geddes Seldom Inn Grenache

70% of this wine is made from 80-year-old bush vines from Blewitt Spring! The 2018 vintage was particularly exciting for the winery - warm days and cool nights resulted in moderate crop levels of vibrant, fresh fruit.

"These five wines represent a disparate group of like-minded winemakers who adore Grenache and everything it stands for. The wines are made with such care and love, each wine is broadcasting a unique story of sense of place and provenance."