Is Vidure the same thing as Cabernet Sauvignon?

Ask Dr Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Is Vidure the same thing as Cabernet Sauvignon? Could Cabernet Sauvignon grown and fermented in Napa Valley be labeled as "Vidure"?

—Chuck, Sacramento, Calif.

Dear Chuck,

Vidure is a very rarely used synonym for Cabernet Sauvignon (and it's also been used to refer to Cabernet Franc). I’ve read that "Vidure" comes from the French term “vigne dure,” or “hard vine,” which is a good nickname for Cabernet.

As with just about all major grape varieties, there are dozens of synonyms for Cabernet Sauvignon—as varieties have traveled the globe over the centuries, they have picked up many different names. However, the Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), the arm of the federal government that dictates wine-labeling laws (among other things), only recognizes the name Cabernet Sauvignon for that grape, so you could not make a Napa Cabernet and label it as being made from "Vidure." I think it’s for the best: Wine is confusing enough—we shouldn't also have to remember that Cabernet Sauvignon might also go by the names “Bidure,” “Bouchet,” “Marchoupet” or “Navarre.” This rule does not apply to imported wines, which can be designated with whatever is approved from the producing country’s own rules.

The TTB has approved the use of alternate names on some wines, like Sauvignon Blanc/Fumé Blanc, Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio and Syrah/Shiraz.

—Dr. Vinny

Red Wines Cabernet Franc Cabernet Sauvignon Ask Dr. Vinny

More In Dr. Vinny

What does “Winemaker’s Lot” mean on a wine label?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how undefined terms are used to sell wine.

Sep 13, 2019

What does it mean if a wine was “cold fermented”?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how temperature can impact the results of a wine …

Sep 11, 2019

Can a wine aged using oak chips age as well as a wine aged in actual oak barrels?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the pros and cons of oak chips in lieu of oak …

Sep 9, 2019

What does “vin sec” mean on a Riesling wine label?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains the meaning of "vin sec" and why it's helpful on …

Sep 6, 2019

How does a winemaker stop a fermentation to make an off-dry wine?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains a few of the methods for stopping a fermentation …

Sep 4, 2019

Is Cabernet Sauvignon a Burgundy wine?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how information about different grapes and …

Sep 2, 2019
WineRatings+

WineRatings+

Xvalues

Xvalues

Restaurant Search

Restaurant Search