The first ever international Carmenere competition will be held next year in Chile.
The event is designed to boost a grape variety which Chileans hope to make their signature wine.
‘Almost all Chilean wineries are now producing it. It’s a rare varietal that requires a long maturation process, but Chile’s climate allows for that,’ said Carolina Arnello, vice-president of National Association of Chilean Enologists, the event organizer.
Carmenere originated in the Médoc. After the 1880s phylloxera outbreak the French did not replant it. As Chile was one of the only countries left untouched by phylloxera, its Carmenere vines are the only original ones left in the world.
In 1993, a University of Montpellier professor, Jean-Michel Boursiquot, identified the varietal after being alerted to it by Chilean enologist Claude Vala.
The 2006 competition will be held on 11 November in Santa Cruz in the Colchagua Valley.
Written by Jimmy Langman