Carménère, what you need to know
Posted on March 22 2018
Carménère is a grape originally planted in France in the Médoc region of Bordeaux where it was used to produce Bordeaux blends similar to those popular today. Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Carménère is considered part of the original six red grapes of Bordeaux.
A Phylloxera plague in 1867 nearly destroyed all the vineyards of Europe. It had such a big impact on Carménère grapevines that for many years the grape was presumed extinct. When the vineyards were replanted, growers couldn’t replant Carménère as it was extremely hard to find and too difficult to grow. The cool climate of Bordeaux prevented the vine's buds from flowering resulting in low yields and crops that were rarely healthy. This was the deciding factor in the abandonment and extinction of Carménère in Europe.