Carménère is one of the most ancient varieties in Bordeaux, though plantings have not been maintained even in this region, let alone any other part of France. Carménère was imported to South America in the 1850s, along with other Bordeaux varieties, prior to the European outbreak of Phylloxera. The largest established vineyards of this variety are in Chile, although many of these were mis-identified as Merlot (the two vines share many similarities) for more than a century. It has remained bug free in Chile ever since, and has become its signature red grape. The name Carménère comes from the most intensely crimson (Carmon) hue of the wines made from the grape.