Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
How are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc related, if at all?
—Janet H., Palo Alto, Calif.
Even though it’s often called the “king” of red wine grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon is a happy accident. About 15 years ago, DNA testing showed that Cabernet Sauvignon is actually a cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. Since vine breeding wasn’t well understood at the time Cabernet Sauvignon first showed up, in the 17th century, we might assume its creation was not planned. Long live the king!
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