Carmenere is the signature grape of Chile. Given that, one would think that it is an easy grape to grow all over Chile. But that is not the case. It is a grape that can give green or harsh characters to the wine if it does not ripen properly or is on the wrong type of soil. For this reason many who make carmenere i in Chile tend to let the grapes hang long, perhaps too long, to overcome the green character.
That is the explanation that Rodrigo Romero gives for why it can be difficult to find great Chilean carmenere. He is the winemaker at Vina Maquis in the Colchagua Valley gives. He considers himself very lucky in having the right soil and the perfect climate for carmenere and can therefor make some excellent carmeneres.
But surprisingly, it is cabernet franc that is his favourite grape variety. And that too gives some excellent result in this corner of the Colchagua Valley.
Read more on this in Britt’s article on Forbes: Making Magic With Carmenère And Cabernet Franc At Viña Maquis In Chile.
Here is the introduction:
Carmenère and Cabernet Franc are two challenging grapes to grow, says chief wine maker Rodrigo Romero at Viña Maquis. “You have to pay very close attention both in the vineyard and in the cellar.” When the result is good, the wines are stunning. This is exactly what happens at Viña Maquis. Here the conditions seem to be perfect for these two tricky grapes.
Viña Maquis is situated in Colchagua, a high quality wine region around 200 kilometres south of Santiago de Chile. This is not exactly a cool climate region. But Viña Maquis is surrounded by two rivers. “These rivers”, says marketing director Ignacio Godoy, “temperate the climate and give us a cooler temperature than most vineyards in Colchagua would have.” Also the clayey soil here at Viña Maquis is different from most of their neighbours. All this is part of the secret of how to succeed with Carmenère and Cabernet Franc.
You can see Rodrigo Romero talking about his carmenere in the video below.
Read all of Britt’s article on BKWine on Forbes.
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