Edition 2019

The touring Grenaches du Monde competition returns to its homeland this year. The 7th event of its kind will be hosted by the wine region of Roussillon, which in April 2019 becomes the capital of grenache.


The home of the four grenache varietals

Grenache is a staple varietal in the vineyards of Roussillon. It is a grape that craves warmth and dryness, and loves long, hot days and cool nights to slowly ripen. Roussillon therefore quite naturally offers it a prime location, conducive to growing the full range of Grenache varieties. Originally, only Grenache noir was grown but gradually Grenache gris and Grenache blanc developed. The variety now accounts for approximately 31% of the region’s area under vine. It is well-suited to the local soils and can therefore produce white, red and rosé wines, as well as dessert wines.

A fourth grape variety, derived from Grenache noir – Lledoner Pelut – has also been introduced. It is relatively similar to its cousin Grenache noir, not only for its characteristics and capabilities, but also in terms of flavour and aroma profile.

Grenache noir is currently used to produce 4 dessert wines – Banyuls, Banyuls Grand Cru, Maury and Rivesaltes – along with 9 dry appellation wines (Collioure, Côtes du Roussillon, Côtes du Roussillon Villages and named villages, and Maury Sec) and 2 PGIs (Côtes Catalanes and Côte Vermeille). Grenache gris and blanc, previously only used for dessert wines, now impart their typical Mediterranean character to white wines from the finest Roussillon vineyards.

Set between the sea and the mountains, Roussillon offers an extremely varied range of landforms along with a sunny, hot climate conducive to growing vines. An authentic amphitheatre facing the mediterranean to the East, it is bordered by three mountains ranges: the Corbieres in the North, the Pyrenees with Mount Canigou in the West, and the Alberes in the South. Roussillon is home to an extensive range of vineyards sites, as evidenced by its 14 AOC and 2 PGI.


Grenache reigns supreme when it comes to dessert wines and is often blended with Macabeu. It is used to produce all appellation dessert wines, apart from Muscat de Rivesaltes. Dessert wines – or Vins Doux Naturels – owe the discovery of their production process (fortification) in 1285 to Arnaud de Villeneuve and are an integral and unique part of Roussillon’s rich heritage. These timeless wines are an essential component of the region’s range, epitomising its history and encapsulating the soul of its winegrowers. They continue to appeal today for their elegance and sensuality. The amber-hued white dessert wines display aromas that flow into honey, coffee and dried fruits, whilst the brick-hued reds deliver scents of candied fruits and cacao.

Dry Rancios
No description of Roussillon would be complete without a mention of its dry rancios. These jewels in the region’s crown are labelled as PGI Côtes Catalanes and Côte Vermeille along with the dry rancio descriptor. They have travelled down through the centuries and offer historical evidence of Roussillon’s wine culture. Made primarily from the Grenache grape variety, the wines are dry because all of their sugar is turned into alcohol. The name ‘rancio’ stems from the fact that they are matured in an oxidative environment for several years and have quite simply developed a unique flavour, described as ‘rancio’. Roasted coffee, liquorice stick, walnut, curry, hazelnut, toasted nuts and brandy are all characteristic aromas of these wines.


Competition location

Perpignan - Roussillon