Garnacha Peluda, literally “Hairy Garnacha”, is a black grape from Spain grown in only a few Spanish DO:s and to a limited extent in southern France.

Characteristics
Garnacha Peluda thrives in warm and dry climates. It has received its name from the furry feeling you will have when touching its leaves.

It is quite common that plants native to hot and dry climates have evolved a layer of delicate hairs on their leaves in order to give them the possibility to conserve water. The hairs function in the same way as does a heat sink on an electrical device, e.g. taking care of its thermal management.

The grape will produce grapes with lower alcohol levels compared with several other Garnacha varieties.

Wines
The leaves of this grape are more famous than are its wines, especially as it is used almost exclusively for blending purposes.

Food pairing
Since no varietal wines made from Garnacha Peluda have been found, no suggestions for food pairing can be given.

Where is it grown?
Garnacha Peluda is grown exclusively in Spain and France. In Spain, there are plantings of 799 ha/1,974 ac reported, making it the fifty-fourth most planted grape in the country.

The acreage corresponds to a decrease of forty-five percent in ten years. Most plantings are found in the area around Toledo in central Spain’s Castille-La Mancha region.

In France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region, plantings of 402 ha/993 ac were reported in 2010. This corresponded to decrease of twenty-nine percent in ten years.

History
There are two competing stories as to where the Garnacha grapes originated, one claims from north-eastern Spain, and the other one claims from Sardinia. Due to the larger amount of mutations found in Spain, there is however a good likelihood that its origin actually is in Spain.

Garnacha Peluda is a mutation from Garnacha Tinta. It was a common grape before the Phylloxera disease hit Europe. It was however not replanted to the same extent, most likely because it did not perform well in producing the then very popular VDN wines.