of berry skin
naturally high in acidity, tannins and astringency
Sardinia, Algeria, California Central Valley, and Catalonia
Cariñena and Rioja but little used now.
is a red wine grape that may have originated in Cariñena, Aragon
and was later transplanted to Sardinia, elsewhere in Italy,
France, Algeria, and much of the New World. Along with Aramon,
it was once considered one of the main grapes responsible for
France's wine lake. In California, the grape is rarely used
to make varietal wines, but some examples from old vines do
exist. In Australia, Carignan is used as a component of blended
wines. In the Languedoc, the grape is often blended with Cinsaut,
Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet
Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc,
Mourvèdre and Merlot.
It has an upright growth habit and can be grown without a trellis.
It was crossed to Cabernet Sauvignon to give Ruby Cabernet.
is believed to have originated in Spain in the Aragon region
and was historically a component of neighboring Rioja's red
wine blend. From Spain it gained prominence in Algeria and fed
that country's export production to France. Upon Algeria's independence
in 1962, the French supply of Carignan wine was cut off and
growers in Southern France began to plant the vine for their
own production. The grape's prominence in France hit a high
point in 1988 when it accounted for 167,000 hectares and was
France's most widely planted grape. That year, in a drive to
increase the overall quality of European wine and to reduce
the growing wine lake phenomenon, the European Union started
an aggressive vine pull scheme where vineyard owners were offered
cash subsidies in exchange for pulling up their vines. Out of
all the French wine varieties, Carignan was the most widely
affected dropping by 2000 to 95,700 ha (236,000 acres) and being
surpassed by Merlot as the most widely planted grape.
mildew(shown here on white wine grapes) is a serious hazard
for Carignan growers which requires regular chemical spraying
of Carignan is largely tied to its ability to produce very large
yields in the range of 200 hl/ha (11 tons/acre). The vine does
face significant viticultural hazards with high sensitivity
to rot, powdery mildew, downy mildew and grape worms. Carignan
is a late budding and ripening grape which requires a warm climate
in order to achieve full ripeness. The vine also
develops very thick stalk around the grape clusters which makes
mechanical harvesting difficult. A white grape mutation known
as Carignan blanc also exist in Roussillon in small plantings
of around 1000 ha (2,500 acres).
the grape is often used as a deep coloring component in blends,
rather than being made in a varietal form with some exception.
Carignan produced from old vines in places like Montpeyroux
and the Corbieres AOC are predominantly Carignan. The grape
is a difficult one for winemakers to work with being naturally
high in acidity, tannins and astringency which requires a lot
of skill to produce a wine of finesse and elegance. Some winemakers
have experimented with Carbonic maceration and adding small
amounts of Cinsault and Grenache with some positive results.
Syrah and Grenache are considered its best blending partners
being capable of performing a softer wine with rustic fruit
and perfume. In California, Ridge Vineyards has found some success
with a varietal wine made from Carignan vines that were planted
in the 1880s.
is most widely found in south France, particularly in the Languedoc
regions of Aude, Gard and Herault where it is often made as
Vin ordinaire and in some Vin de pays wines. In Spain
the grape is almost non-existent in its ancestral home of Aragon
where it was once a secondary component of wine from the Carignan
region after Grenache.It
has found an increasing prominence in the Catalan wine region
of Priorat, where it's the main variety in the northern half
of the appellation and has been vindicated by a number of young
growers such as South African Eben Sadie, and also Costers del
Segre, PenedÃ¨s, Tarragona and Terra Alta. As of 2004, Spain
had around 7,000 ha (17,300 acres). In Italy the grape is most
commonly found in Sardinia and Lazio where it is often found
as a rose. The Carignano del Sulcis DOC features a Carignan
based rosso from the Sardinian islands of Sant'Antioco
and San Pietro. In the New World, Carignan was often planted
in the warmer wine regions of California, Mexico, Chile, Argentina,
Uruguay, Australia and South Africa.
At one point
in California's wine history, Carignane (as it is known here)
was the third most widely planted grape variety but has since
dropped considerably in production . The majority of the vines
were planted in the Central Valley and used to make inexpensive
box and jug wines. In the 1970s and 1980s, Californian Carignane
was one of the leading "home winemaking" grapes in production.
In Australia the grape was often confused with the Bonvedro
vine, which is similarly prone to diseases, but in recent years
Australian winemakers have been able to identify true Carignan.
The grape is still popular in North Africa in Algeria, Morocco
and Tunisia. Carignan also played an important role in the early
development of the Israeli wine industry though it is not as
prominent today. Chinese winemakers have also experimented with
growing Carignan in some of their warmer wine regions.
Science of Wine Aroma
the Acids in Wine
(Tannins) in Wine
The Basic Wine Pairing Rules
Science of Food and Wine
a Wine Sommelier
Clarke Encyclopedia of Grapes pg 58 Harcourt Books
Robinson (ed) "The Oxford Companion to Wine" Third
Edition pg 139 Oxford University Press 2006
Robinson Vines, Grapes & Wines pg 143-145 Mitchell
J. Robinson Jancis Robinson's Wine Course Third
Edition pg 101 Abbeville Press 2003