Wine Enthusiast has declared that the Cariñena region is caliente and one to watch! The editors chose Cariñena as one of the top ten wine stories of 2016, and the region is projected to support Spain’s continued wine gains in 2017.

Consumers are seeking the name Cariñena when they browse bottles. Producers report that distribution has doubled over the past two years, as wine lovers find value bottlings with real pedigree. It helps that Cariñena is home to more old vine Garnacha than any other region in Spain.

Per Bloomberg, what began as a flirtation with the Grenache/Garnacha grape several years ago has broadened into a global love affair with this appealing variety. Wine Buyer Adam Porter made it official last year: “Grenache is the next Pinot Noir. It offers similar qualities like perfume and spice but is more affordable than Pinot..” For regions like Cariñena the timing could not be better; it has taken over 100 years for some of their finest vines to come of age, and they are ripe for discovery.

Wine writer Rob Guimaraes also called out the trend: “[Cariñena] is still an area that flies under the radar of many wine aficionados and it is for that very reason that it’s truly a ripe wonderland for wine geeks who are continually looking for the next vinous nook of the world ready to rise to prominence.”

Garnacha is indeed the next great grape, and discriminating palates are looking for their latest finds in Cariñena.

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The Top 10 Wine Stories of 2016, Wine Enthusiast.