Guide des cépages : tout savoir sur le carignan

Guide to grape varieties: everything you need to know about Carignan

Long used for mass viticulture, Carignan has not always had a good reputation. However, today it is one of the most popular black grape varieties, and makes it possible to make very good bottles of wine. Discover in detail the main characteristics of Carignan , its aromas, its fruits with its thick skin and its beautiful bunches full of sun.

To find out more about grape varieties, we invite you to read our grape variety guide .

The origins of Carignan

Carignan comes from Spain , and more precisely from the town of Carinena, from which its name comes. It was during the Middle Ages that it arrived in France, first in the southwest, then in Languedoc-Roussillon and in the Rhône Valley, where the warm climate suits it better.

Today, we find this red grape variety in many countries with a Mediterranean climate and medium altitude, such as Israel, California, South America (Mexico), Tunisia, Morocco, Croatia... Of course , depending on the terroir, Carignan produces wines with different characteristics, in particular with whole clusters contributing to the richness of its beautiful color.

The particularities of Carignan

In the vineyards, we recognize Carignan by its large clusters and its rounded , dark purplish, almost black berries. Its young leaves are large and shiny yellow, with numerous small hairs.

Particularly resistant to wind and extreme drought, Carignan is nicknamed hardwood by many winegrowers. Its qualities then allow it to adapt to arid and dry soils, but also very windy. But to get the best from this Mediterranean grape variety, nothing beats excellent exposure to the sun . It can then be very fertile, so it is imperative to restrict it, even in the event of regular production.

In terms of diseases, Carignan is particularly sensitive to leafhoppers , but also to powdery mildew. If it is protected from these pests, a Carignan vine can then live for more than a century, even if winegrowers only use plants up to 30 years old.

Wines from Carignan

Generally speaking, wines made from Carignan are alcoholic wines , sometimes exceeding 12°. These powerful wines then release spicy aromas , as well as fruity notes of blackberry, black cherry and prune. With barrel aging, the red wine also reveals notes of almond, toast and leather. On old vines the tannin is fine while on young vines the tannin is still bitter.

When production conditions are optimal, Carignan-based wines are not very sweet and acidic, and very marked by fruit flavors. Note, however, that Carignan is rarely used as a single grape variety, even if some winegrowers try this technique.

Three types of wine are then produced from Carignan:

  • Red wine , with spicy notes and a deep color, a tannic structure and peppery flavors;
  • Rosé wine , with generous aromas and lots of flexibility;
  • Sweet wine , with lots of character.

Note that many wine producers prefer to use old Carignan , in order to obtain fine tannins. The best of them then manage to produce Crus, and even Grands Crus based on Carignan.

What food and wine pairings for Carignan?

The aromatic complexity and powerful structure of Carignan-based wines are all qualities that make it possible to accompany an entire meal with a good bottle.

  • As an aperitif: with cold meats, cheese, foie gras, tapas...;
  • As a starter: with salads, eggs meurette, Mediterranean recipes...;
  • As a main course: with red meats, meats in sauce, poultry, grilled meats, spicy dishes...;
  • With cheese: Gouda, Mimolette, Comté, Morbier...;
  • For dessert: any fruit-based dessert.

Our wines made from Carignan

Taking full advantage of the Mediterranean climate of Provence, Carignan flourishes in our vineyards, and allows our oenologist to produce very high quality rosé and red wines .

Carignan was, in the past, associated with mass viticulture, as its yield is high. Today, the regulation of its production has made it possible to discover all the qualities of this southern grape variety. Our winegrowers then know how to draw all its richness from it to produce quality Provence wines .


Our selection of wines

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Rosé Wine 2023 AOP Côtes de ProvenceGrande Récolte
CHF 79
Box of 6 bottles - 75 cl
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Rosé 2022 AOP Côtes de ProvenceGrande Récolte
Regular price CHF 79Sale priceCHF 52
Cardboard of 6 bottles - 75 cl
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Rosé 2021 AOP Côtes de ProvenceGrande Récolte
CHF 89.70
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White 2017 AOP Côtes de ProvenceChâteau de Berne Grande Cuvée
CHF 120
Cardboard of 6 bottles - 75 cl
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