The Curious Case of Carmenere

The ancient origins of the Carmenere grape are uncertain, and there are several theories about them.  My personal favorite is that what we now call Carmenere was known in ancient Rome as “Biturica,” and praised by such luminaries as Pliny the Elder and Columella.

Of course, evidence for this theory is inconclusive, but when I open a bottle of Carmenere, I like to think that what I’m about to drink bears at least some similarity to the wines enjoyed by Julius Caesar during his campaign in Gaul.

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