What is hairy grenache?
A. The name for a diseased grenache vine that develops a coating on the leaves, making it look like it’s covered in hair
B. A nickname for the feeling of tannin on the palate that comes after drinking grenache
C. A mutation of grenache that has leaves that appear to be covered in fur
D. An idiom in northeast Spain for a hangover that comes from drinking too much red wine
Hairy grenache, or garnacha peluda in Spain and lledoner pelut in the Languedoc Roussillon region of France, is a clone of grenache that has particularly hairy leaves. Like the furry fuzz found on rosemary and other Mediterranean plants, the “fur” evolved as a defense mechanism to protect the vine from heat and conserve moisture. The clone is native to the Spanish region of Catalonia. Wines made from hairy grenache often have a lower alcohol content, but the clone is customarily blended with regular (non-hairy) clones of grenache.