Cariñena versus Carignan

The Carignan grape variety originates from Spain and was originally called Cariñena. Carignan is the French name for this variety, where it is grown in Southern France. However the grape originates from a region in Spain with the same name: Cariñena, which is near Zaragoza in the North of Spain.

The problem is that the Cariñena region has sole rights to its name, so you’re not allowed to refer to the grape by this name unless it has been grown in that region. Hence the French name of Carignan is used even in Spain. Which seems a bit silly to me. Using the original Spanish name makes more sense and might actually boost tourism for the region.

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