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Carignane

The Carignane grape variety is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world.  It's popularity stems from the high crop yeilds that it produces as well as the characteristics that it can bring to a wine. Wine made from Carignane usually has red-fruit characteristics, deep violet and purple color, strong tannin structure and high levels of alcohol content. It is sometimes peppery like Syrah.. These characteristics have made it very popular as a blending agent in the vast quantities of local table wines (jug wines) that are consumed around the world. It often provides the 'backbone' of these wines and is blended with other grape varieties that bring additonal flavor characteristics.

Carignane is thought to have originated in northern Spain and grows well in a 'Mediterranean' climate. As a result, it is widely grown in many of the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea including France, Italy, Spain, and Algeria. Carignane is the most widely planted grape in France. It has also found a home in almost every other wine producing country around the world.

Despite its commercial success, the Carignane is considered a 'workhorse' grape rather than a noble variety such as Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon. Wines made from Carignane can be good but are almost never excellent. As a result, Carignane is slowly diminishing in the number of acres planted to it. As consumers want better quality wines, the Carignane grape is being displaced by other varieties.

Carignane is also known by some other names througout the world including: Carignan, Carignano, Carinena, Mazuelo and Monestel.