Being namedEden Valley Grenache Winery of the Yearat the2019 Melbourne International Wine Show, for our 2017 Megan Jane Grenache, was a huge achievement for our family, as we were up against some world-renowned wineries.

This recognition for our first ever Grenache release is something we will always be immensely proud of, and it goes a long way toward proving thatthe quality of our vineyardis something very special, and indeed capable of producing world-class wine varieties, outside of our region’s renowned Riesling and Shiraz.

It certainly set the bar pretty high for our future expressions of Grenache… but our second installment, the2018 Megan Jane, sails right over that bar and continues soaring.

Grenache (pronounced Gruh-nash) is a medium to light bodied wine, with our ownEden Valleyexpression sitting in the medium realm.

It is generally spicy, berry-flavored and soft on the palate and produces a relatively high alcohol content wine. Characteristic flavor profiles on Grenache include red fruit flavors (raspberry, dark cherry, red plumb) with a subtle spice (like cinnamon) and white pepper notes. 

It can sometimes be described as having the complexity and viscosity of Pinot Noir, but the richness and volume of Shiraz.

Having claims to itsorigins in both France and Spain, Grenache is most famously known in Australia as part of the Grenache, Shiraz,Mourvédre (GSM) blend, but it also makes a really appealing straight varietal and is starting to break out into solo performances with some superb expressions coming out of South Australia.

Grenache (Garnacha in Spanish) was first cultivated in the 14th century across northern Spain and southern France. It’s presence in the south of the Rhone Valley is what put Grenache on the world stage, where it was embraced by California and South Australia, both being generally warm, dry regions, where this grape thrives.

The Barossa, Clare and McLaren Vale areas of South Australia are all producing some great examples of this wine.

Despite our cool climate status, our varied Eden Valley terrain likens some of our growing conditions to those of parts of the Mediterranean, and correct vine placement has allowed us to succeed in ripening this varietal successfully.

We planted our Grenache vines back in 2013 because our then-winemaker used to like the addition of a little Grenache into our Rosé. However when Jo Irvine took over making ourTru-Su Rosé, her preference was to make us a straightShiraz Rosé. With the Grenache vines already well established at that point, we decided to turn our hand to making our own expressions ofEden Valley Grenache– and we’re sure glad we did!

Grenache is an aggressive producing vine, so it does need careful control of yields for best results. We carefully and strategically drop fruit bunches to improve ripening conditions and greater flavor concentration for the remaining bunches.

It’s fair to say however that production of this wine will be predominantly dependent on what Mother Nature dishes out for us each year. We anticipate that there will be years where we won’t produce a Grenache. These vines are usually our last to bud and our last to ripen, so if the weather takes a cool turn before harvest, we can easily lose the opportunity to ripen these grapes to satisfaction. However, the 2018, 2019 and 2020 vintages all delivered warm, dry conditions during their growing seasons, making for an ideal Grenache trifecta ahead… and we can’t wait.

We named it the ‘Megan Jane’ after our long-standing dedicated employee Megan, who has been with us since founding Brockenchack, and is an integral part of our team (and our wine-family). She keeps everything ticking and she loves wine, so we thought it only fitting to recognise her ongoing dedication by naming this wine after her.

Our biggest patch of Grenache is on what we affectionately refer to as ‘snake hill’. Funnily enough this is not Megan’s favourite spot on the vineyard… despite having wrangled a snake out of her baby’s cot once - but that’s a story for another day.

We planted another patch of Grenache vines last year by the dam. Needless to say, whenever Megan visits the vineyard, she much prefers visitingthesevines, to shower them with love and tell them how wonderful they are! She thinks it’ll make them grow better, stronger, healthier… I suppose if a gold medal + EV Grenache Winery of the Year are the outcomes of this approach (not to mention Jo’s finesse in the winery), perhaps we could talk Jack into whispering sweet nothings to all of our vines! (Ha ha… anyone who knows Jack will know just how funny that prospect is.)

Grenache is typically high in alcohol but low in acid, so it pairs really well with game, grilled orroasted meats,lighter curries, light to moderately spiced dishes and charcuterie. Try it with thesePulled Pork Steam Buns, thisRoast Chicken Panzanella, oreven aRoast Lamb with Pomegranate Glaze.Or, let us know on oursocial pageswhat your favourite recipe pairing is with this delicious wine…

Our2018 Megan Jane Grenachespent 18 months in a combination of 20% new and 80% used French oak, before a further 9 months bottle ageing prior to release. Only 65 dozen produced. It will cellar under the right conditions for between 5-8 years.

We were thrilled with the high-quality grapes and excellent yields that the 2018 vintage delivered. The colours and flavours in our reds are exciting, with Grenache being one of the stand outs. We have really been looking forward to being able to release our 18 reds to you all, with this beautiful wine being the first in a line of great 18 reds to come out of camp Brockenchack.

We'd strongly suggest you start building up your cellar of 2018s right away! This vintage won't disappoint.