Italian Indigenous Varieties: Carmenere In North-Eastern Italy

Carmenere in Italy is always a difficult subject to tackle I find. Many of the vines that were thought to be Carmenere in Friuli for example were later discovered to be Cabernet Franc or Merlot.

Many others are still not sure whether their vines are Carmenere or Cabernet but one producer who stands out is Inama in the Veneto who makes a Carmenere wine called Carmenere Plus. Here’s a great review of the wine from Mary Ewing Mulligan of a previous vintage. I have not tried either of his Carmenere wines but am now very curious to do so after reading this piece and the one below.

Here’s a nice piece on Carmenere in general from Jason Wilson in the Washington Post.

Carmenere we all now associate with Chile but it is, as both writers have remarked, a traditionally Bordeaux-based variety. It’s easy to imagine how the wines came to grow in Italy. I couldn’t find any historical reference to it. What I did find is that it has its’ own classification or “disciplinare” as one of the DOC wines from the Colli Berici.

There are actually a number of wineries in the area which is located near the city of Vicenza. I find that Vicenza is often overlooked as a tourist destination but I loved visiting the city when I was in graduate school in Bologna and its’ Teatro Olimpico is well worth seeing.

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