Carmenère could become the emblem grape variety for Chile. In the same way that California claims Cabernet Sauvignon and New Zealand is recognised for its Sauvignon Blanc, a bright future is forecast for Carmenère. The country's second largest wine producer Empresas Lourdes believes that the variety has a significant future. Jaime Merino, export manager of its subsidiary company Vistamar, said: "Carmenère could be a very important variety for Chile. It has become a very hot property and it could become the variety for the country." Its potential had not been realised until a few years ago. The Carmenère vines had been mixed up with Merlot when they were shipped over from France in the last century. It has only been since the 1990s that experts have been identifying the vines in the vineyard. {{DRINKS }}