Carmenere, takes its name from carmin, which can be translated into crimson, due to the crimson color the leaves take on just before leaf fall in autumn. Carmenere was used in all the great Bordeaux wines.

Today, Chile maintains the largest planting of Carmenere in the world. The grape first gained popularity in the South American country when cuttings were brought over from Bordeaux around 1850.

At the time, many of the cuttings were confused with Merlot. In fact, Chilean growers from the time period began calling the grape, Merlot Peumal, after the Peumo Valley located in Chile. The mistake was eventually discovered and in 1994, many growers became acutely aware they had vast plantings of Carmenere and not Merlot.



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