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December 12 2014 | Empordà | Terroir | Viticulture

Lledoner Roig: The grape

Lledoner Roig, Garnatxa Roja, Garnatxa Grisa. Different words in Catalan to name the same type of grape. They’re exotic these grapes as they’re neither white nor red but pink. They are from the Grenache family and complete this grape trilogy with the siblings of red and white Grenache. Lledoner Negre, Lledoner Blanc, and Lledoner Roig as we call them in Empordà. They’re called Grenache Gris by our neighbors across the border in Banyuls, France. They are rare grapes, because it is difficult to find a vineyard that is fully Lledoner Roig and they’re typically mixed in with other varieties.

This grape is often found in the company of the much more vigorous Carignan. Lledoner Roig is very resistant to the strong tramuntana winds as well as drought and gives us the best grapes--more pink thank grey--when it is well matured. This usually happens when it grows in soils with few nutrients. It also has to be said that the typical vines of Empordà aren’t nearly as vigorous as those that came from France 60 years ago.


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