This red wine grape originated in northern Spain's Cariñena district. It was once widely grown in France's Languedoc-Roussillon region, California's San Joaquin Valley and countries ringing the Mediterranean including Italy, Spain, Algeria and Israel. However, Carignan acreage has diminished over the last several decades as it's been replaced by higher-quality grapes. The high-yield Carignan (often spelled Carignane in California) produces wines with deep purple color, high tannins and high alcohol. It's often blended with grenache and cinsaut.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.