The three heritage grapes of the Barossa Valley are Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro. From the 1870s they were favoured as the best varieties for making fortified wines for the local and export markets. We tend to forget that the table wine business of today only gathered strength from the 1950s. This began with a move to red wines yet as the appeal of table wine spread the market demanded sparkling and white wines which quickly outgrew red wines in volume.
While Shiraz retained popularity Grenache and Mataro had no purpose. Both were grubbed out. From the 1990s a revival began with small producers. Both Mataro and Grenache are now seen as significant varieties which add purpose to the Barossa story, complexity to reds and are worthy of single varietal status.
Grenache intrigues us as it will age yet is delicious when young. We also imagine Barossa Grenache as a warm climate Pinot Noir.