International Carménère Day Date in the current year: November 24, 2022

International Carménère Day International Carménère Day, also referred to as World Carménère Day or simply Carménère Day, is observed annually on November 24. It was created to commemorate the rediscovery of Carménère and celebrate the signature red wine grape of Chile.

Carménère is a red wine grape variety that belongs to the Cabernet family. Its parent grapes are Cabernet Franc and Trousseau, also known as Bastardo. The name “Carménère” derives from the French word carmin, which means “crimson”; it is a reference to the brilliant crimson color of Carménère leaves in autumn.

Carménère originated in the Médoc region of Bordeaux. It is one of the original six red grapes that are permitted in Bordeaux blends, along with Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. Today, however, Carménère is rarely found in France and is primarily associated with Chile.

Chilean wine growers began to import the Carménère grape from Bordeaux in the 19th century, frequently confusing Carménère vines with Merlot vines. In 1860s, European vineyards were devastated by the phylloxera epidemic, and Carménère was one of the most affected grape varieties. Wine growers could not replant it after the epidemic because Carménère was hard to find and difficult to grow; as a result, it was presumed extinct for almost a century and a half.

What European growers didn’t know was that Chilean growers still planted Carménère thinking it was a clone of Merlot. In 1994, French ampelographist (botanist specializing in the identification and classification of grapevines) Jean Boursiquot rediscovered Carménère. In 1998, it was officially recognized as a distinct grape variety by the Chilean Department of Agriculture.

Today, most of the world’s Carménère is grown in Chile. It is primarily used to produce varietal wines, although Chilean winemakers have been experimenting with its potential as a blending grape.

Carménère wines are characterized by a medium to full body, relatively low acidity and tannins for a red wine, deep ruby color, and a fruity flavor with earthy, smoky, and spicy notes. Carménère pairs well with lean meat dishes, including grilled and roasted meats, meat stews and curries, pasta dishes with meat sauce, roasted or grilled vegetables and mushrooms, and tuna steak.

Carménère Day was launched by Wines of Chile, a non-profit organization of Chilean wine producers that promotes the image and quality of Chilean wines, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the rediscovery of Carménère. Interestingly, Carménère Day occurs around Thanksgiving in the United States, a feast for which Carménère is well-suited because this wine pairs nicely with roast turkey.

There are many ways to celebrate International Carménère Day. You can attend a wine tasting, go out to a wine bar, buy a bottle of Carménère and share it with a friend, learn more about the history of Carménère and share the most interesting facts you’ve learned on social media with the hashtags #InternationalCarmenereDay and #CarmenereDay to spread the word about the holiday.

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International Observances

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Carménère Day, International Carménère Day, World Carménère Day, international observances, wine-related holidays