International Carignan Day Date in the current year: October 31, 2024

International Carignan Day International Carignan Day is a wine-related holiday celebrated annually on the last Thursday of October. It was created to raise awareness of a grape variety that originated in Spain but is more commonly found in French wines.

Carignan (also known as Cariñena and Mazuelo) is a late budding and late ripening red grape variety that is believed to have originated in Cariñena, a village in the Spanish autonomous community of Aragon. From there, it was brought to Sardinia by the Phoenicians around the 9th century BC and then spread to the rest of Italy, France, Algeria, and eventually to the New World.

Today, Carignan is grown in many wine regions around the globe. The vast majority of Carignan plantings are in France, particularly in the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region, followed by Italy and Spain. The grape is also grown in Argentina, Australia, Chile, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Israel, Malta, Morocco, Mexico, South Africa, Tunisia, Turkey, the United States, and Uruguay. In Roussillon, there are small plantings of white-berried and pink-berried mutations of the grape, known as Carignan blanc and Carignan gris, respectively.

Carignan has naturally high acidity, astringency, and tannins. Due to this, it is rarely used to produce varietal wines because it requires a lot of skill to make them fine and elegant. Carignan is more commonly used in blended wines as a deep coloring component. The best blending partners for Carignan are Grenache and Syrah. In its native Spain, Carignan was historically used in Rioja’s blended red wines. Californian winemakers often use Carignan in their inexpensive boxed and jug wines.

Nevertheless, some winemakers have experimented with various techniques to produce varietal Carignan wines. Good examples of these rarely found wines are full-bodied and usually have notes of red, dark and black fruits, licorice, pepper, baking spices, and savory notes of cured meat.

Thanks to their high tannins and pronounced acidity, Carignan wines (and blended wines where Carignan is the leading grape variety) pair extremely well with flavorful meat dishes such as roasted pork, beef brisket, spicy meatballs, rich poultry dishes like roasted duck, and, naturally, charcuterie boards. As for cheeses, Carignan is best accompanied by rich, flavorful cheeses like aged Gouda. You can also pair Carignan with vegetarian dishes featuring mushrooms and eggplants. For dessert, you can pair it with dark chocolate or berry desserts that will bring out the wine’s fruity notes.

International Carignan Day was established by Carignan Renaissance, a French association of wine professionals (winegrowers, oenologists, journalists) dedicated to giving visibility to this historic grape variety and promoting Carignan wines. The best way to celebrate the holiday is, of course, to enjoy a glass or two of Carignan with friends. You can also give someone a bottle of Carignan as a gift to introduce them to this amazing wine, attend a wine tasting or a vineyard tour, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #InternationalCarignanDay and #CarignanDay.

Remind me with Google Calendar


International Observances


International Carignan Day, international observances, wine holidays, wine-related observances, Carignan