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The Carignan Grape

Carignan is a variety that is thought to have originated in Cariñena, Arogon in Spain.  It was introduced to France in the twelfth century.  It is not grown widely in the new world, but some examples from old vines do exist. 

Due to its high yields vines were planted all over the Languedoc region in Southern France and some say it has played a large part in the glut and overproduction of wine in Europe in recent history and today.  The French government were offering grants to up root vines and slow down production.

Carignan is mostly used as a componant of blended wines, in the Languedoc you will often see it blended with Syrah, Grenache, Cinsaut, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. 

In Spain you can barely find it’s presence anymore, but in Sardinia it is found as a rose wine.  In California it was once the third most widely planted variety and was used to make box and ‘jug’ wine.

So, an overworked and underappreciated grape which has all but lost international popularity.  Chile, however, are nurturing the variety and with their 60 something year old vines, with low yields, are seemingly producing Carignan with depth and complexity…perhaps one for Hannibal to explore!


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