Spotlight on Cabernet Sauvignon

The most widely recognised of the noble red cultivars, Cabernet Sauvignon, owes much of its reputation to its success in Bordeaux.

Cabernet Sauvignon is now the most planted red cultivar in South Africa, accounting for 11.7% of red wine plantings, used either in single varietal wines or in red blends. 


Genetically, Cabernet Sauvignon is the result of a crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, which is almost certain to have occurred in the 1700s in Bordeaux. Initially gaining popularity due to its resistance to botrytis, this cultivar now dominates the left bank of the Gironde Estuary, home to most of the First Growths, where it is blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc to make some of the most famous wines in the world. This fame resulted in many New World plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, with internationally recognised styles emerging in California, Australia and South Africa. Cabernet is also notable for its use in non-French blends such as the Super Tuscans of Italy, where it has been criticised as a ‘coloniser cultivar’.
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