Cabernet Franc is a good red wine to pair with our foods. But what are its origins? To do that, we have to go to France to figure out what Cab Franc Day is all about!

History of Cab Franc Day

Cabernet Franc is believed to have been established in the Libournais region of southwest France sometime in the 17th century, when Cardinal Richelieu transported vine cuttings to the Loire Valley.

They were planted at the Abbey of Bourgueil under the care of an abbot named Breton, whose name became associated with the grape. By the 18th century, plantings of Cabernet Franc (known as Bouchet) were found throughout Fronsac, Pomerol, and St. Emilion making quality wines.

As Cabernet Sauvignon grew more popular in the 18th and 19th century, the close similarity of the two grapes was observed and theories emerged as to the extent of their relationship.

In 1997, DNA evidence emerged to show that Cabernet Franc had crossed with Sauvignon blanc to produce Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone as in the Loire’s Chinon.

Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wine that contributes finesse and lends a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on the growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, cassis, and violets.

Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century, although it was planted in Loire long before that time. DNA analysis also indicates that Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carmenere.

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How to celebrate Cab Franc Day

To celebrate Cab Franc Day, we would have a glass of Cabernet Franc while having a wonderful home cooked meal. Pairing a fine wine like Cabernet Franc with a home cooked meal is not only a good way to spend an evening, but it is also a good way to make an evening date all more romantic.

We would also use the Cabernet Sauvignon when throwing a house party so we can all raise our glasses to our successes and our loved ones. When the party has settled down, it’s a great wine to have while chatting with friends and family.

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