There are many wines in the world and many excellent wine growing regions, many of which are renowned for a special grape variety. Thanks to a historical hazard, the Carmenere variety is now to be found almost exclusively in Chile – a first class genuine Chilean specialty. Carmenere came to Chile from France in the middle of the 19th century. Thanks to the very mild climate in the Chilean Central Valley, the conditions for the variety were far better here than in Europe. Only a few years after the Chileans had begun to grow Carmenere, large parts of European vineyards were destroyed during the phylloxera plague, including almost all the Carmenere stocks. Over the course of time, the variety fell into oblivion. The Chilean Carmenere was at first thought to be a type of Merlot, although for over a hundred years nobody could explain the difference in taste between the Chilean Merlots and those of other origin. It was only in 1994 that the mistake was discovered by a French expert via DNA analysis. The French grape variety that was thought lost, had turned into an exclusive Chilean product overnight! The first “real” Chilean Carmenere was produced in 1996. Since then, Chilean oenologists have been working continuously and very successfully on the improvement of their Carmenere wines. Today, there are over 8,000 hectares of planted Carmenere vines, and the number is only increasing.
If you would like to book a tour to a winery that grows Carmenere, your travelArt sales partner will be happy to help you.