The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is grown in nearly every wine producing country. This grape produces the most widely recognized red wine in the world. The Cabernet Sauvignon grape vine is grown in all types of climates from Canada’s Okanagan Valley to Lebanon’s Baqaa Valley. During most of the 20th Century the grape was the most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990s.
The grape is a fairly new variety becoming into existence in the 17th century in southwestern France. The plant is a cross between the Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc. The variety is very hardy and resistant to rot and frost. The origin of Cabernet Sauvignon was a mystery for many years. Until recently the gape was rumored to maybe have ancient origins. Even perhaps being the Biturica grape used to make ancient Roman wine. The grapes true origin was discovered in the late 1990s with the use of DNA. Chateau Mouton and Chateau d’Armailhac in the Pauilac, was probalbly the first estates to actively grow the fruit.
The offspring’s of the Cabernet Sauvignon include the cross of the Granache which produced the Marselan , a French wine. In Australia in 1977 a bronze grape was found that is an offspring of the Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was registered under the name Malian and has sold pale red wine under this name. In 1991 one of the Bronze Cabernet vines produced a white grape that was registered as Shalistin.
The Viticulture of the Cabernet Sauvignon can grow in a variety of climates. When growing the vines in colder climates, more pruning will be needed because the vine uses it nutrients to put on more leaves rather than using its energy to ripen the fruit. The vine is one of the last major grape varieties to bud an ripen usually in one to two weeks. In regions that are too cool, there is a possibility that the grapes will taste like green bell pepper.
The Cabernet Sauvignon is an assertive, bold wine that overwhelms delicate dishes. The wine has a high alcohol level with a flavor that pairs well with fatty red meats. This wine does not pair well with spicy foods due to hotness levels of the capsaicins present in spices like chili peppers. The mild taste of black pepper will pair better with the wine. The wine has a great ability to age and develop in the bottle. As the Cabernet wine ages new flavors and aromas can emerge, and add to the wine. In the past century the Cabernet has enjoyed a swell of popularity as a noble grape. The grapes are well suited for California and Australia.
In Australia the Cabernet is the second most widely planted red wine grape, following the Shiraz with which it is often blended. Whereas in California the main stylistic difference in the Cabernet Sauvignon is whether it is grown on hillside/mountains vineyards are those of flatter terrain. The mountain side wine tends to be a deep inky color with a strong berry aroma.
Happy Grape Growing,
S. S. Barnett