Big news for DO Empordà. After years of waiting, Spain’s Official State Gazette resolved to allow wineries in the designation of origin to make wines with Cariñena Blanca (Carignan Blanc) grapes. When the DO was officially created in 1975, this grape variety was, for some reason, excluded and the regulatory council has been lobbying for its inclusion for years. As a result, DO wines in the region were not permitted to include these particular grapes in their wines… until now.
DO Empordà will be the first designation of origin in all of Catalonia and Spain that will be able to use this particular variety in its wines, and winemakers will be able to start selling those wines once wineries have officially registered their Cariñena Blanca harvest.
In line with this official decision, the regulatory council has rolled out a special plan to boost the use of this variety, which is quite singular, given that just 19 hectares is dedicated to its growth. According to the council, just 20% of all of the wineries in the DO grow these grapes. Moreover, most of the vines with Cariñena Blanca are over 100 years old, a testament to this variety’s historical ties to the area.
The council would like to create a special label or seal to identify wines make solely with this grape, which is also part of its wider initiative to underline monovarietal wines made with grapes that are traditionally found in Empordà.