Grenache & Garnacha: education travel tips from Monique Soltani


Monique Soltani, the WTA voting winner, recently returned from her exciting adventure, a “grape escape”, where she learnt all about Grenache / Garnacha. Monique Soltani is a well-known Wine Journalist and TV Host at her popular online project, Wine Oh TV. The star winner promised that very soon she would produce a video of her “grape escape” for Wine Oh TV, but, in the meantime, Monique kindly agreed to share a few fun facts she learned while getting her grape education in the French Roussillon and Spanish Aragon.

“In Spain, they nickname Garnacha the “Survivor Grape”. I greatly admire the strength of this vine! Surviving extreme living conditions and still managing to find a way to thrive.” — said the journalist.

Here’re a few essential facts about this grape.

Get to Know Grenache/Garnacha

  • Once the most widely planted red grape in the world (until the 1990s)

  • One of the oldest varietals 153 BCE Originated in Northeastern Spain and expanded under the Crown of Aragon. The varietals’ birthplace (PDOs of Catalayud, Campo de Borja, Cariñena, Somontano, Terra Alta and PDOs & PGIs of Roussillon France).

  • Garnacha (a.k.a. Grenache), is nowadays the 7th most planted grape variety (5th for reds).

  • Spain and France keep the highest concentration of Garnacha/Grenache and old vines in the world.

  • Arguably the most Eco-Friendly Grape in the World, Garnacha/Grenache is highly drought-resistant and produces more concentrated wines when water is limited.

  • Depending on soil, climate and elevation, it can produce wines in a wide range of styles. Garnacha/Grenache, whether still sparkling, red, white, rose or sweet (Natural or Fortified Sweet wines). Vins Doux Naturels is a unique sweet wine produced only in the Roussillon region.

“Ojala is an expression I learned in Spain which means “May it be God’s will”. Ojala we will meet again VERY soon!” — wrote Monique Soltani in her farewell message to the beautiful lands of Roussillon and Aragon. Well done, dear Monique, we are looking forward to this and more upcoming videos on Wine Oh TV!