Concha y Toro has become the latest major name to join Vigno, a small group of wineries dedicated to the revival of the Carignan grape in Chile’s Maule region.

Carignan wine from the Vigno project. Image credit: Vigno.

Vigno – Vignadores de Carignan – was founded in 2011, the brainchild of a group of like-minded pioneers led by Andres Sanchez of Maule producer Gillmore; he is the current president. The idea was to preserve and celebrate old-vine Carignan in Maule, whose vineyards were devastated by the 2010 earthquake.

Vigno is run as an appellation, with strict rules governing production and labelling of wines.

The wines must use a minimum of 65% Carignan, with the balance made up of old-vine varieties, from Maule’s secano interior, where there is no irrigation. The Carignan must be at least 30 years old and dry farmed, and the wine must be aged for two years before release.

Vigno now has 15 members including Concha y Toro, whose winemaker Marcelo Papa said the company wanted to help the organisation to expand.

A further requirement of membership is that the wine must be called Vigno. Concha y Toro said its version of the wine was made with ‘grapes from very old head-trained vines, dry-farmed in the Maule Valley…on red clay soils that are poor in nutrients’.

Other members include Miguel Torres, Undurraga, Casa Lapostolle, Valdivieso, and Jackson Family Wines.

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Written by Adam Lechmere