Chile has just celebrated 20 years since it was realised that much of Chile’s merlot was in fact Carmenere. Shipments of vines from Bordeaux, believed to be Merlot, were planted in Chile in the 1800’s in the Alto Jahuel region of the Maipo Valley by viticulturist at Vina Carmen—Chile’s oldest winery. After devastation by phyloxera in the 1850’s throughout Europe it was thought the Carmenere grape was extinct. It was not until 24 November 1994, that French ampelographer Jean Michel Boursiquot identified vines that were previously thought to be Merlot, were in fact Carmenere. These were in Vina Carmen’s Alto Maipo vineyards. The discovery marked what would become one of the most important milestones in the Chilean wine industry. On discovery of the true identity of its vines Vina Carmen replanted the variety in the Apalta valley part of the Colchagua Valley thought to be best suited for Carmenere.