The most widely-planted red wine grape in France is Carignan. Most Carignan is confined to the Languedoc and southeastern France and is gradually being replaced with more distinctive and aromatic varieties.
Carignan buds and ripens quite late, so is not prone to spring frosts, but requires a long season. The berries are bluish-black, round and fairly large, with fairly thick, astringent skins. Carignan mostly produces wines that have high color, acidity, and tannin, without displaying much distinct flavor or personality and with very little appeal. Only a few growers carefully manage vine vigor and limit crop size to produce interesting, distinctive wines from this grape. As with many other varietals, older Carignan vines seem to produce wines with generally more character and less brutality.
Thus, Carignan frequently becomes a wine for blending or, on its own, for inexpensive everyday consumption.