Wine Lists

Three grenache wines to try

By Halliday Promotion

8 May, 2024

These three grenache wines come from South Australia. Find out why Australia has a love affair with grenache, as well as tips on how to best enjoy the medium- to full-bodied red and the ultimate food pairings.

Grenache (or garnacha as it's known in Spain) was one of the original varieties planted in Australia. Some of the oldest grenache vines in Australia date all the way back to the 1800s. After initially being used for the production of fortified wines, grenache experienced a renaissance and became the perfect blending partner for GSMs and rosé wines, and of course, found its way as a straight varietal.

Below are three grenache wines to try. Each come from South Australian regions that are famed for grenache – Clarendon Hills and Serafino Wines in McLaren Vale, and Turkey Flat in the Barossa Valley.

We spoke to each producer about what makes their grenache unique, along with why they think Australia is so passionate about grenache. And, of course, we asked them how to best enjoy their standout grenache – think tea-smoked duck, pork belly and spicy Asian dishes.

Clarendon Hills

Clarendon Hill vineyard

Co-owner and sales and marketing director Alex Bratasiuk says: I love grenache from Blewitt Springs, McLaren Vale. The terroir is so specially suited to the varietal, that the resulting wine is beyond the textbook definition; it ventures into the realm of exotic and exception. It has kaleidoscopic forest berries, highly fragrant florals and bright natural acid across a seamless, pinot-noir like frame. When the wine is youthful it is electric with expression and it's always absolutely captivating to see the new vintage perfume in barrel.

H. What makes your grenache unique?
AB. Our flagship grenache is the Romas patch within our Blewitt Springs grenache single vineyard. It's the steepest and stoniest section of the vineyard and produces a highly mineral driven cuvée. The vine age here is actually unknown as the vines were on the property when the current owner purchased it in 1930. The vines are estimated to be around 100 years old and likely the oldest in all of Blewitt Springs and McLaren Vale. The winemaking process is entirely minimalistic and deliberately so, this is to highlight the terroir and not the winemaking hand.

H. Why do you think grenache is so popular in Australia?
AB. Australian grenache is becoming the next superpower in the wine world. We have some of the oldest vines and oldest soils on earth. Couple that with visionary winemaking and a few kind vintages from Mother Nature and the result is truly world-class. Australia took note of this rising star first, and now the world is just waking up to its prowess. Watch this space, currently there's eight per cent of all McLaren Vale vineyards planted to grenache, this will grow to a much larger percentage, 30–40 per cent over the next 10 years.

Wine to try

2022 Clarendon Hills Romas Grenache

2022 Clarendon Hills Romas Grenache 

While deeply layered and exhibiting a youthful recession of character, as it unfurls the latent and seamless power becomes apparent. Offering a collection of musk, forest berries, wild strawberry, savoury cherry skin characters on arrival. With aeration, further floral violet and lavender notes and mineral elements emerge and highlight the abundant future extension possible with this cuvée. Notes of lipstick and musk take this to another level. On the palate, fleshy blue and red fruits within a fine talcum like extract where a seamless intensity resides. The structure is extremely fine boned and long in the mouth. Effortless power of resonating blue and red fruits pervading the lengthy finish where a violet and lavender floral character is highlighted.

Best enjoyed: Pair the 2022 Romas with tea-smoked duck. This medium-bodied grenache is able to be enjoyed year-round, however I mostly enjoy my grenache when it is absolutely bucketing down and I'm inside, near the fireplace, with a charcuterie board and a good book. 

RRP $150 | Drink to 2044 | Shop this wine | 

Serafino cellar door


Winemaker Brett Smith says: There is a genuine buzz around grenache amongst both industry peers and consumers, particularly those seeking lighter-bodied red wines, which express intensity of flavour and elegance all in one.

H. What makes your grenache unique? 
BS. We let the high-quality fruit absolutely shine in the glass, while we also build in many layers of subtle complexities to make our grenache unique. The final product is a blend of many small parcels that all add very different qualities that each play a critical role in making the consumer come back for one more taste. The fruit is mostly destemmed and whole berries are transferred to small open fermenters for up to 10 days. During the fermentation the juice is taken away from the skins and returned over the skins to aid in gentle extraction of the flavours and tannins. A portion of the whole-bunch fruit undergoes carbonic maceration to enhance the aromatics and structure.

H. Why do you think grenache is so popular in Australia?
BS. We are spoiled with access to a large resource of old vineyards that were planted when grenache was predominantly used for fortified wine production. While only in the infancy of exploring both winemaking techniques, and which of these old vineyards are located in the very best terroir for dry red wine production, the quality of grenache is already world-class.

Wine to try

2022 Serafino Reserve Grenache

2022 Serafino Reserve Grenache

Medium bodied with a long even bright palate. This brightness is super silky with spice, violets, and plums. A fruit-forward style with beautiful complexity.

Best enjoyed: Pair the Reserve with quail or pork belly. Best served between 13–15 degrees, the Serafino Reserve Grenache has a delicacy that perfectly suits consumption sans food, but also boasts a super complex and textural palate that pairs brilliantly with aromatic dishes and even spicy cuisine. Enjoy in a large glass so you don’t get an overuse injury going back for more!

RRP $40 | Drink to 2027 | Shop this wine |

Turkey Flat cellar door

Turkey Flat

Winemaker James Adams says: Grenache lends itself to so many different styles and interpretations. It beautifully encapsulates the vintage and vineyard by producing energetic and expressive wines. It’s the challenge of making it that’s so compelling. The variety rewards intelligent and considered winemaking, knowing the grape can easily punish you if not respected.

H. What makes your grenache unique?
JA. Our grenache comes off gnarly old-bush vines grown on the Estate. These vines continuously produce fruit of power and concentration. We have spent many years honing our style since first making single varietal grenache back in 1992. We are now reaping the rewards, even winning the Jimmy Watson Trophy for the 2016 Grenache back in 2017 – it was the first Barossa grenache to take out the award.

H. Why do you think grenache is so popular in Australia?
JA. Grenache's popularity is on the rise, thanks to its versatile range, from light and fruity to bold and robust. With consumer preferences favouring lighter, more approachable red wines, grenache stands out for its vibrant flavours, soft tannins, and easy-drinking nature.

Wine to try

2021 Turkey Flat Grenache

2022 Turkey Flat Grenache

Our grenache is full of bright red cherry and raspberry aromatics with a hint of game, tea leaf and dried herbs. The palate offers bright fresh, fruit flavours with an energetic acid line and long savoury tannins that will ensure this wine ages gracefully for years to come.

Best enjoyed: The 2022 Grenache pairs with savoury Mediterranean dishes, along with spicy Asian cuisine. The grenache is best served at approximately 15 degrees, and is enjoyable as a young wine, but will also reward those who lay it down for 10+ years.

RRP $45 | Drink to 2032 | Shop this wine |

Image credit: Ian Routledge and Wine Australia.