Cultivation of the Carmenère variety around the globe
Carmenère is a late-ripening grape
and yields can be unreliable. It is very sensitive to cold and only ripens well in warm regions. The vine is prone to coulure and its roots are also susceptible to disease – attributes that would scare off most winegrowers. As a result it is still not widely planted. The main countries in which it is grown are Chile and Italy, but it is also cultivated in New Zealand and Australia, and to a lesser extent in Switzerland
Carmenère wines from Chile
As Chile escaped phylloxera and provides all the right climatic conditions, this country rose to become the main producer of Carmenère wines. It has approximately 8,800 hectares planted with Carmenère vines. The variety is mainly found in the winegrowing regions of Rapel, Maule and the Central Valley. Here the temperature never drops below 10 degrees Celsius, even at night, during the growing phase. It is vinified as a single varietal.
South American winemakers like to age Carmenères for up to 4 years in oak barrels. For example, Chile’s largest wine producer Concha y Toro allows them to age for this amount of time.
Carmenère wines from Italy
Italy ranks second on the list of countries where Carmenère is grown
. Known as “Carmenoro” there, this grapevine covers 1,000 hectares. The vineyards are mostly located in northeastern Italy. Top of the winegrowing regions are Friuli
Italian winegrowers also misidentified the vine. In the 1980s and early 1990s, they planted it in the belief that they were cultivating Cabernet franc. It was not until later in the 1990s that they began to gradually identify their grapevines as being Carmenère. In the meantime, the grape has been recognized as a quality variety and is permitted in a few DOC appellations. For instance, the Vigna Dogarina winery in Campodipietra is famous for its premium Carmenère wines.
Discover a very special wine. Mondovino and Coop stores stock wines made from this grape from various major winegrowing regions.