23 September 2005

Chilean Vineyards Bet of Carmenere

(Sept. 23, 2005) If you are looking for that distinctive taste of Chile, Carmenenère may be what you’ve been waiting for. Ten years after Chilean vineyards invested heavily in the distinctive wine, connoisseurs around the world are ready to taste the fruits of their labors.

There was a “rediscovery” of Carmenenère wines in Chile in the early 1990s that caused producers here to invest heavily in the product. Planting hundreds of hectares of Carmenenère grapes between Regions IV and VIII (latitudes 30 and 40 degrees south) Chilean vineyards are starting to harvest the first crops of what they hope is a very successful flavor.

“This is a grape stock that requires a lot of care.” said Sergio Correa, chief wine expert for Grupo Tarapacá, “It takes a long time to produce and must be planted in warm valleys.”

The creation of a new wine requires years of hard work as well. “Purple Angel,” a new Carmenenère from Viña Montes, took over ten years to produce. According to Aurelio Montes, president of the company “The wine is 92 percent Carmenenère and 8 percent Petit Verdot; the Verdot gives it the acidity needed to preserve the flavor of the wine.”

Wine makers are hopeful that the Carmenenères will be successful internationally where they think a good bottle will sell for anywhere between US$30 and US$50. The asking price for a bottle of “Purple Angel” is US$50 and Montes says if the label is successful, he will be able to produce up to 20,000 cases a year.

SOURCE: EL MERCURIO