Grenache Q + A with Winemaker Skye Salter
1. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT GRENACHE?
Firstly, I love grenache for how versatile it is as a drink. As a medium bodied red wine it lends itself to all seasons beautifully. People often associate reds with winter, but if it's especially warm I like to throw it in the fridge for a few minutes - it takes the edge off and becomes a great summer drink! Grenache is full of vibrant fruit with a very seductive nose, loads of interest on the palate, spice, and textural tannins. And most importantly, each grenache tells a story of where it's from. At Willunga 100, we're big on ensuring the characteristics of the site are reflected in the glass.
2. WHY IS MCLAREN VALE SUCH A GREAT REGION FOR GRENACHE?
Grenache is a Mediterranean variety that grows very well in warm climates, so we're lucky in McLaren Vale to be blessed with warm summers. It ripens late, and actually needs quite a bit of heat to ensure it ripens before the change of season. We also have a lot of old vine grenache in McLaren Vale with very large root systems, the deep roots find the water the vine needs without irrigating. A lot of these old vines are 100% dry grown, proving just how well the vine does with heat/water stress. This is great for a country constantly in a state of drought! On a hot day you'll notice the leaves on the grenache vines are still upright and turgid, while some other varieties would have stressed, wilting leaves.
3. WHERE IS YOUR IDEAL PLACE TO CRACK OPEN A BOTTLE OF THE NEW RELEASE 2020 GRENACHE?
At home on the deck with a group of close friends, enjoying the sunshine and a long lunch!