Is Garnacha the next “great grape”? Find out Tuesdays in April 6pm PST

beso de vino
Tonight, Tuesday April 21 from 6-7pm PST, is the third night of four focused on “The Next Great Grape: Garnacha” on Wine Studio hosted by Protocol Wine Studio. James Beard Award-winning wine and food writer, WSET Instructor, and public speaker Lyn Farmer aka @FizzFan visited the Cariñena region last June and brings his insights into the history, sights, sounds and tastes to the weekly discussion:

“I believe Cariñena is positioned to take a vibrant place on the world wine stage. It is not (yet) so well known as regions slightly to the north like Ribera del Duero and Rioja, nor is it (yet) so trendy as Priorat and Toro, but Cariñena’s day is coming.”  @FizzFan

The first week we learnedthatGarnacha from Cariñena is special because of “its inherent adaptability to the varying degreesofterroir – which equates to levels of flavours that appeal to many palates.” The high altitude vineyards “descend into dramatic windswept plains that benefit from extreme day-to-night temperature differences, ideal conditions for rich, expressive wines crafted from layers of rock, mineral, and earth.” Located in the heart of the Ebro Valley in Spain’s northeast regionofAragón,

D.O.P. Cariñena is bordered by the Pyrenees and France to the north, and Catalunya to the east. Its winemaking history dates back to the Roman era.

We also learned about how cooperatives work for the Cariñena region.  As I found out in Portugal, by forming cooperatives the farmers can pool their resources and not spend so much on major capital expense as well as time meaning they can focus on the vineyards.


In Week 2, we tasted two wines from  Grandes Vinos y Viñedos which works with vineyards from each of the 14 growing areas of D.O.P. Cariñena: Grandes Vinos y Viñedos, 2014 Beso de Vino Garnacha Rosé SRP: $10 and Grandes Vinos y Viñedos, 2014 Corona de Aragón Old Vine Garnacha SRP: $10.




Beso de Vino – Garnacha Rose 2014 $10


The color is light, bright fuchsia  with beautiful clarity. The lively, floral notes roll across your tongue as watermelon, strawberry, and cranberry, white flowers float on the nose. Dry and complex, for $10 this is a very pleasing, very refreshing wine. This wine goes great with salty crackers and cheeses and cured meats. It brings out the fruity sweetness inherent in the wine. This would make a great picnic wine –no need for a corkscrew with this easy open screw top closure. Consider this for for a mother’s day brunch, and pair with ham, sandwiches, or salads.  We love the label of a Taurus drinking a glass of wine. We definitely enjoyed this wine while we were preparing our spread for the tasting and mini-pizzas, and we will be looking for it in stores! Great wine to come home to after work in the summer, too.


beso de vino prep


Corona D Aragon 2014 – Old Vine Garnacha – D. O. P. Carinena – Espana $10


The Cariñena region has more old vines of Garnacha planted than any other region in Spain, with over 1600 growers.  As Grandes Vinos y Viñedos, founded nearly 20 years ago, gets grapes from 14 growing areas of D.O.P. Cariñena, they have access to a wide range of fruit including some of the older vines in the region. Made from old vines, this wine is a good inexpensive introduction to the wines of this region. The nose is inviting, with aromas of cherry, sour cherry and red currant, and on the palate, more cherry and dusty cocoa with an oaky finish.


For tonight’s Wine Studio at 6pm PST, we will taste two wines from Bodegas San Valero, specifically,  low-yield plots that produce age-worthy and complex wines. With the longest history in Cariñena, Bodegas San Valero (Grupo BSV) has accessed prominent vineyards in the region for over 70 years. One of the most progressive wineries in Cariñena, Grupo BSV combines “passion and respect for tradition with modern wine making techniques” to produce affordable wine which include: Bodegas San Valero, 2014 Castillo Ducay Tinto Joven SRP: $7.99-$9.99 a blend of Garnacha, tempranillo and cabernet sauvignon; and Bodegas San Valero, 2013 Particular Cariñena SRP: $14.99.


In our final week, on April 28, we will taste two wines from Bodegas Paniza and learn about microclimates and soils.

Named for the village where the winery is located and where growers have cared for their vineyards for generations, Bodegas Paniza was founded nearly 60 years ago. The rise of the Sistema Ibérico Mountain range brings cooling influences even in the peak of summer to the   highest elevation area of D.O.P. Cariñena. Microclimates include limestone, sand, and clay stone soils; this allows the wine making team  to choose from a variety of vineyards to find the balance they desire for the wine they seek to make. We will be tasting: Bodegas Paniza, 2012 Viñas Viejas de Paniza Garnacha SRP: $18; and  Bodegas Paniza, 2008 Paniza Artigazo SRP: $27.

So who’s ready for garnacha? I am! I only have to wait 4 more hours! Join us and learn about this region of Spain! Follow the hashtag #winestudio and connect with @vinoscarinena to stay on top of all the latest news of this emerging region.

Please Comment! I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s