Dr. Harold Olmo, of the University of California, created this cross of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carignane to be a Cabernet alternative for California’s ‘cool’ coastal regions. The varietal never gained any significant acreage in these coastal regions or any other vineyards in California. However, Carmine can now be found in a few far flung appellations across North America. Modest amounts of Carmine can be found in Pennsylvannia, Michigan and Oregon. Carmine is a late budder and late ripener and has a tendency to overproduce with lots of large clusters if not properly managed. The grapes of the vine benefit from black skins as can be seen in the resulting wines. This is one of those unique varieties you will only see at Ripken Winery. It is growing inpopularity but still difficult to find on the market. Our 2013 Carmine has a black cherry, bell pepper, black olive, spicy and smokey notes. It will pair well with BBQ’d meats especially lamb.