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Dear Dr. Vinny,

What does the word "Sauvignon" mean? Just the word—not Cabernet Sauvignon or Sauvignon Blanc.

—Jeff S., Naples, Fla.

Dear Jeff,

Nowadays, when you see the word "Sauvignon" appear by itself, it's usually referring to Sauvignon Blanc. As far as the origin of the word goes, it appears to have come from the obscure (and now obsolete) French words "servagnin" or "sarvinien," which were names in regional dialects for types of grapes or various grape varieties.

—Dr. Vinny

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