The carignano is the most widespread black grape variety in Sardinia, especially in the Sulcis area, and the red wine Carignano del Sulcis DOC is made from it. Although it is not one of the most cultivated vines, it deserves special attention for the interesting results it can give.

Synonyms and clones

  • SynonymsItaly (bovale grande, nerello cappuccio); France (bois, carignan); Spain (carinena, mazuela).

Carignano: characteristics

... of the plant

  • Appearanceleaf medium-sized pentalobata. Petiole medium.
  • Maturationbetween the first and second ten days of September. Bunch medium, pyramidal, winged and compact. Grape medium and obovoid. Peel medium thick, pruinose and deep blue in colour. Pulp juicy with a neutral flavour.
  • Productivityabundant and constant.
  • Vigourexcellent.
  • Resistance to adversityrather sensitive to powdery mildew, peronospera, rot and pest attack.
Grapevine carignano leaf

... of wine produced

  • Visual examinationvery concentrated ruby red, making it perfect as a blending or blending wine.
  • Olfactory examinationdelicate notes of raspberries, tobacco leaf and cinnamon.
  • Taste-olfactory examinationintense, great acid shoulder and powerful tannin that makes it perfect as a blending or blending wine.

Cultivation zones

  • Italy(suitable and recommended areas) Sardinia; (suitable areas) Marche, Lazio, Sicily, Tuscany, Umbria.
  • WorldFrance (Languedoc-Roussillon, Côtes Catalanes); Tunisia (Mornag, Sidi Salem); Algeria (Medea); Spain (Aragon, Catalonia, Rioja); Italy; Morocco (Berkane, Beni M'Tir, Guerrouane); United States (California, Lodi AVA, Madeira AVA, Sonoma AVA).

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Carignano: Italian DOCG and DOC wines where it is allowed

  • DOCGnone.
  • DOCCarignano del Sulcis, Sicily.
Varietal carignano bunch

Conclusion

The carignano was brought in Italy and particularly in Sardinia by the Phoenicians. This is why it can also be found in other Phoenician settlements such as Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Or was carignano brought from Italy to other countries around the Mediterranean... one cannot say for sure. What is certain is that in Sardinia it has found a terroir particularly suited to express itself at its best.

Sources:

© Ministry of Agricultural Food and Forestry Policies, National Catalogue of Vine Varieties.

© Bassi C., Sommelier: the illustrated manual, Cammeo DiVino, Monte Isola, 2022, pp. 140-141

© Altea Illotto (cover photo)

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