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Cabernet Sauvignon - Dominanting Red Wine Grapes

Cabernet Sauvignon, being one of the world's most renowned wines, is grown in nearly every major wine producing country. This is a very unique and mysterious wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon’s origin was a little unclear because there are many myths and conjunctures surrounding it. The word “Sauvignon” is believed to have been derived from the French word sauvage, which means wild. It is referred to the grape being a wild Vitis vinifera vine native to France. The grape used to be rumored as having ancient origins.


In the past century, Cabernet Sauvignon has become very popular as one of the noblest grapes in the world of wine. Its popularity is built partly on the success in Bordeaux, as well as regions like California and Australia. Planting the grape in any region that can be cultivated it is considered a wise choice. Cabernet has become a familiar wine among consumers which has also aided in its availability and appeal even from vague wine regions and producers.


In California, Cabernet Sauvignon has a certain style and reputation recognizable by the world’s market.  California’s plantings and production of the grape are similar in quantity to those of Bordeaux. In the 80’s, the Phylloxera epidemic swept over California, demolishing most of the vineyards which would later need replanting. There was also speculation that the Cabernet Sauvignon would be replanted with other varietals. The plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon in fact doubled between 88 and 98. Most of the wine regions were dominated by the grape, such as NapaValley north of Yountville and Sonoma's AlexanderValley.


Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in almost every South American country including Chile, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay. In Chile, the wines were historically restricted by the exceptionally high yields that were ordinary throughout the country. “As producers begun to concentrate on limiting yields, regional differences began to emerge that distinguished Chilean Cabernets.” The climate of the region is the most important consideration for vineyard plantings along flat river valley; soil type is a greater concern as plantings move to higher elevations and along hillsides, “The wines of the Aconcagua region are noted for their ripe fruit but closedFind Article, tight structure that needs some time in the bottle to develop.”



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Lindsay Alston is a contributing editor for Classic Wines, specializing in Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

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