In D.O.P. Cariñena, two native grapes reign supreme—Garnacha (known elsewhere around the world as Grenache) and Cariñena (known locally as Mazuelo and recognized as Carignan globally). Both feature different flavor characteristics and profiles and prove to showcase their own signature styles within the winemaking process. Below we provided some thorough overviews of each grape and what one can anticipate when it’s cultivated in the region—and how it’s produced to ensure innovative wines continue to thrive in D.O.P. Cariñena.
Called Mazuelo in most of Spain, the Cariñena grape is known by its traditional name throughout D.O.P. Cariñena, as Carignan in France, as Carignano in Italy, and is thought to be native to this part of the Ebro River valley. It has dozens of synonyms, which means it’s likely an ancient variety, spread by trade and military missions in the Mediterranean region over centuries.
Single-varietal Garnacha wines are common throughout D.O.P. Cariñena. Old, bush-trained Garnacha vines abound here, some more than 100 years old. One of the world’s most important production centers of this widely grown grape variety — it accounts for about a third of the vineyard here — the Cariñena production area is also widely considered to be the grape’s origin.