Grenache – the New Wine Blockbuster?

Will Grenache really roll off the tongue with the same alacrity as Cabernet or Chardonnay? The organisers of the Grenache Symposium, with its suggestive slogan: Grenache-Moi, hope so, and have invited the world to  turn up at  Avignon, City of the Popes, to help it do so.

Grenache Night: Celebrate and Taste Vintages of the Noble Grape From 30 Winemakers in Avignon on Sunday, March 10

by Bradley B Kuett of the Provence Ventoux Blog

The festive wine-networking and tasting extravaganzas called Grenache Nights (G-Nights) are turning out to have “legs” – not the so-called legs which refer to the trails of liquid on the sides of a wine glass when you swirl it – but the Hollywood variety as in “stamina at the box office” to denote a long-running film.

G-Night returns to Avignon for another run on Sunday, March 10 after stagings in Lyon, Montpellier, Bordeaux, London and Barcelona.

Below is American sommelier Kelly McAuliffe at the Nov ’11 G-Night in Avignon via Youtube:


A bit of history. Ignoring plangent noises about the impossibility of achieving brand status for Grenache, the Grenache Symposium was brainstormed by two Brits, the world wine virtuoso Stephen Spurrier and Walter McKinlay of Domaine de Mourchon, a Côtes du Rhône Villages estate in Seguret.

It was launched at an extraordinary wine pow-pow held in the Upper Vaucluse in June 2010 at the Domaine de la Verrière that drew more than 250 wine professionals from 23 countries for a long weekend of workshops, presentations, analysis and tastings of over 1600 bottles of Grenache wines.

The Symposium has one overarching objective: to achieve “franchise status” for Grenache.

In other words, when people drift into wine stores, restaurants or bars and are asked what they would like, they respond in a determined voice “Grenache!” – in the same fashion that wine drinkers call out a Cabernet or a Chardonnay, the two blockbuster brands that shape whatever wine culture there is in America. Now, other grape varieties are gaining mindshare: Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Zinfandel, and Pinot Noir.


Lively fun-soaked G-Nights embody the Grenache Symposium’s charge of part professional network, part knowledge sharing and part marketing initiative.

Here are the thirty estates which will be pouring some awesome Grenache-based vintages at G-Night in Avignon:

Le Clos du Caillou, La Janasse, Pierre Usseglio, Bosquet des Papes, Pegau, Pique Basse, Clos de Trias, Domaine de Mourchon


Chêne BleuLa GramièreSaladin, Clos du Caveau, Guillaume Gros

Vignobles DavidAlloïs, La Solitude, Domaines Lupier (ES), Galuval, La Mordorée, Mouriesse Vinum, Les Ondines, Château Revelette, Amistat


La Vieille Julienne, La Barroche, Château UnangSt Jean du BarrouxTrinquevedel, Delubac

Expect this wine grape-as-community on a Rhone Valley-scale togetherness gathering to be heaving by mid-evening.

For Rhone Valley wine lovers, G-Nights are sui generis – un must!Donc, grenachez-vous le 10 mars.




Grenache NightSunday, March 10 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for professionals. Doors open to the public – the “Grenachistas”- at 9:30 p.m.  For reservations and information, contact Marlene at Contributions to cover expenses.

Le Délirium, a cultural and artistic salon occupying an exotic baroque space in the heart of Avignon on 23 rue de la Republique, entrance at 1 Rue Mignard, Avignon. Tel: 04 90 85 44 56

Grenache-Moi T-shirts: The Grenache-Moi logo above was created by Punch Design in Carainne. T-shirts with the Grenache-moi logo, along others featuring wine-inspired designs and humorous slogans, are available at WWW.WINETRACT.FR Tel. 04 32 80 94 03

Story: Bradley Kuett

Author: Bradley Kuett is a writer / consultant based in the Vaucluse.
This report, written by Bradley B Kuett of the Provence Ventoux Blog is reprinted here by kind permission of the author who retains all rights.

Provence Ventoux Le Blog (PVB):  offers annals of life in the Vaucluse, the soi-disant French California, experienced by people living there.  The blog is structured in four columns: food, wine, culture and reportage.  PVB is an exercise in entourage reportage: observations, impressions and points of view (POV) offered by a cadre of individuals who are at times at the same table or event. PBV does not aspire to the role of critic for food, wine or culture. An appropriate label would read bystander, observer or raconteur. PVB is published in English and edited by Bradley Kuett, who has frequented Aix-en-Provence since 1996.

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