Cabernet Sauvignon – History and origins

Cabernet Sauvignon - History and origins

For a long time there has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding the roots of Cabernet Sauvignon, which has given rise to various rumors and assumptions. One possibility is that the term “sauvignon” comes from the French word “sauvage”, which means “wild”, and could be related to a wild vine native to France.

In the past, people believed that grapes had a long history and that they could have been the same type of grape used in ancient Roman wine. This idea was especially popular in the 18th century, when the grape was also called petite vidura or bidura, which could come from the original name, biturica.

According to one belief, the term “vine” could derive from the sturdy wood of the vine, since the French expression for “hard vine” is “vigne dura”. This suggests a possible connection with the Carménère grape, which has been called grand vidura. Another theory suggests that grapes could have their origin in the area of La Rioja (Spain). It is important to note that both theories are commonly discussed in relation to the origins of grape vines.

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Historical records suggest that Cabernet Sauvignon was a highly valued grape in 18th century Bordeaux plantations, especially in the Médoc region. Although it is not clear when the name “cabernet sauvignon” prevailed over that of “petite vidura”, it is believed that the variety grew first and spread later from Château Mouton and Château d’Armailhac in Pauillac.

In 1996, Carole Meredith and her team at the University of California at Davis used DNA profiling to discover the true roots of this strain. They discovered that cabernet sauvignon was the result of a cross between cabernet franc and sauvignon blanc, which took place around the 17th century.

Before this revelation, it was suspected that the two grape varieties had a common origin due to their similar names and the fact that cabernet sauvignon shares similar olfactory characteristics with both grapes. Cabernet Franc is known for its blackcurrant and pencil case aromas, while Sauvignon Blanc has herbaceous aromas.

2 thoughts on “Cabernet Sauvignon – History and origins”

  1. I cannot believe that was the origin of Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s kind of absurd to think that it came from a white grape variety Sauvignon Blanc.

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