cabernetsouvignon

cabernetsouvignon

Far from the cosmopolitan and vibrant city of Santiago, a very special grape grows. Almost killed by insects, and then forgotten, the Carménère was reborn more than 10.000 km away from its homeland and today is Chile’s most renowned wine around the world… But how did that happen?

In the 19th century, the phylloxera epidemic almost wiped all of France’s raisin plants, forcing French winemakers to start over with their plantations of Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Carménère. Their efforts worked and almost all of the strains were brought back to life, but the Carménère couldn’t adapt to the cold spring and early autumn rains of Bordeaux and got extinct.

More than a hundred years passed and the Carménère was reborn in central Chile. How? A decade before the plague that affected France started, a few strains of Carménère joined the European winemakers that migrate to Chile around 1850. However, this survivor wine strain was sown next to Merlot and Cabernet plants and for years Carménère was marketed as these two varieties.

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