Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Cariñena, town in north-east Spain which lends its name to both a denominated wine zone and a vine variety, widely grown in southern France as carignan. Although it is thought to have originated in the area, the vine (officially known as Mazuelo in Spain) has been widely abandoned here in favour of garnacha, which seems better suited to the arid growing conditions in this, the largest of the four do zones of the aragón region (see map under spain). But Cariñena, like so many other regions of Spain, is trying to break with the the viticultural and winemaking flaws of the past. The minimum alcoholic strength permitted by DO regulations for red Cariñena was reduced from 14 to 12% in 1990. Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon have also been planted, and the local red wine rarity Vidadillo rediscovered. Among the white vine varieties that cover a fifth of Cariñena’s total vineyard area, Macabeo and Garnacha Blanca have been joined by Parellada from Penedès. The co-operatives, led by San Valero, have been fully modernized, and some noteworthy private producers have joined them, notably Solar de Urbezo, Pablo, Bioenos, Añadas, and Grandes Vinos y Viñedos.