Cabernet Franc is the parent grape of both Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Ampelographers point to South-West – most likely the Basque region of France – as Cabernet Franc’s homeland because it’s related to a few other varieties found here.
Cabernet Franc grows in many regions around the world. You can find it growing in France, Italy, the United States, and Chile to name a few.
If you are looking for a place that is well known for the “ultimate” Cabernet Franc, you might want to check out Libournais, the “Right Bank” in Bordeaux. Here is where Cabernet Franc is blended with Merlot to produce some of the most well-known and collectible wines in the world.
Cabernet Franc has proven to be very robust, producing good quality wines in a variety of climates creating a diversity of tastes. In cooler climates, such as the Loire Valley of France and Ontario, Canada, wines reveal a heightened acidity and more tart fruit flavors. You will find that Cabernet Franc delivers more sweet strawberry and fried fruit flavors in warmer areas such as Tuscany and Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez in California. One fascinating flavor in the wines is an aroma often described as bell pepper. In warmer climates, it tends to be described as sweeter ( like a roasted red pepper or cayenne spiced chocolate), but the pepper characteristic is definitely notable.