Navigating Carignan at Vinisud


Vinisud, the annual southern French wine fair, begins in Montpellier today. John Bojanowski of Clos du Gravillas in the Languedoc has charted those exhibitors showing Carignans in this Middle Earth-style map. 

It was John and his wife Nicole who organised a Carignan love-in called Carignan Renaissance in the Languedoc in 2004 on which I reported slightly sourly in Can Carignan(e) ever be great? He is also mentioned in my Letter from the Languedoc written soon afterwards, charting how rapidly anglophones were invading this southern French region, largely thanks to Ryanair's direct flights from the British Isles. 

He writes about his graphic, mentioning the organic wine fair in Montpellier at the end of January, 'we also did one for Millésime Bio, with about 40% overlap of the vignerons doing both shows – so about 80 domaines in total, almost all in Langedoc and Roussillon. Our association is now official. We are 50-odd members, mostly growers but even a couple of journalists. Next trick is a Carignan Day Conference 26 May at SupAgro in Montpellier.'

The week after next we'll be publishing Ferran's enthusiastic report on wines from old Carignan vines on both sides of the Pyrenees. I think John wlll appreciate it. You may also like to see a video Hérault Tourisme has made and John is trying to publicise of old Carignan vines 'with subtitles for the French-impaired'. I wish him and wines from old Carignan vines the very best. Over the years I have come to appreciate that old vines can produce serious wines. And I have enjoyed many a Carignano del Sulcis from Sardinia. And in the Languedoc the rasping produce of over-produced Carignan has become much rarer, I'm delighted to say.