In its varietal expression, Cariñena unfolds in full-bodied, fleshy textures and wonderfully expansive warmth that soothes both palate and soul. A variety to warm the spirit on cold winter days.
Also known as Mazuelo in La Rioja, Crujillón in parts of Aragon, Samsó in Catalonia, and Pinot de Évora in Portugal, Cariñena goes by many names. Some speculate that its origins might lie in the eponymous town of Cariñena (Aragon), a well-known winegrowing region, highly regarded since the days of the Roman Empire.
Cariñena grapes at the vineyards of El Lloar (DOC Priorat) at harvest time
Whatever the case may be, this is one of the oldest known grape varieties in Europe. A closer look at its features and characteristics sheds light on why its popularity has endured over centuries.
In order to truly shine, Cariñena requires low-vigor conditions. When pushed to produce high yields, the variety can lack pigment and display a certain amount of acidity and a trace of bitterness. By contrast, when grown in fine, somewhat poor, low-fertility soils, the variety reveals a complete and perfect version of itself, producing deeply pigmented wines with subtle but persistent floral hints reminiscent of violets.
Llicorella slate soils at the vineyards of El Lloar (DOC Priorat)
When made as a varietal wine, Cariñena's personality is defined by a velvety fleshy texture and generous natural alcohol. This transforms the midpalate into an extracted, tangible and tactile experience—a moment of comfort and relaxation.
However, when Cariñena meets Garnacha, the real magic happens. A symbiosis that has come to represent one of the defining blends of the Mediterranean. Born to share an understanding, to lose themselves, then find each other again. The eternal embrace of two red queens.
Cariñena-Garnacha, Garnacha-Cariñena. Their union accentuates the deep intensity of color; a world of ripe black fruit with fleeting floral nuances of violets that evoke memories of spring.
The terraced vineyards of El Lloar (DOC Priorat)
Priorat might be the place where this pair truly comes into its own, which makes our wines so exceptional. Salmos and Perpetual (DOC Priorat) are heirs to the region's winegrowing culture, which spans millennia. They are vivid expressions of this varietal pair, made from low-yielding old vines that ensure the same superior quality, vintage after vintage.
Other Familia Torres flagship wines that feature Cariñena in their assemblage include Grans Muralles (DO Conca de Barberà) and Purgatori (DO Costers del Segre). Classics, both old and new, that underscore and uphold our winery's excellent reputation.
Our vineyards would be unimaginable without Cariñena, a grape that confers both identity and quality. Whether performing solo or joining Garnacha in a magical assemblage, Cariñena envelops body and soul in its varietal warmth, all winter long.