I’m not a traditional follower of all the wine days, but there is something about Cabernet Franc Day on December 4 that is special. Perhaps it is because it is a grape that is misunderstood and often overlooked, yet a vital part of so many great wines.
Or perhaps it is because my friend, Lori Budd, who makes wine with her husband, Michael, at Dracaena Wines puts so much passion into getting this grape the attention it deserves every year. It’s hard not to get excited about trying a wine from a new region or a new winemaker with such a great grape. You can go to the Dracaena Wine page for more information about Cabernet Franc and how to celebrate it.
A Little History
Cabernet Franc is one of the twenty most widely planted grape varieties worldwide. Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc are attributed to be the “parents” of Cabernet Sauvignon. Regions known for Cabernet Franc are California, Bordeaux and Southwest France, Washington, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, Italy, Hungary, Croatia, and Romania.
Cabernet Franc is reported to have been established in southwest France sometime in the 17th century when Cardinal Richelieu transported cuttings of the vine to the Loire Valley. On December 4, the anniversary of his death, the Budd’s started and hosted #cabfrancday to celebrate and educate people about this grape, bringing together winemakers, writers, and consumers who have a love for it. If you want to see the conversation, go to Twitter, and follow the hashtag #CabFrancDay.
My Winery: Selin Winery
It’s a story you often hear. After spending 30 years of a successful career in high tech and enjoying 25 years of wine country trips and collecting wine, Peter Selin decided to shift to his second career after retirement. He moved to Sonoma to work with a long-time friend and winemaker, Chris Taddei of Taddei Family Wines.
That led to him making his own wines in 2019 for Selin Cellars, which were just released this year in mid-2022 using all Sonoma-based fruit.
And this wine should not be part of a blending grape – it stands on its own as a delicious single varietal.
I tasted the 2020 Selin Cellars Cabernet Franc from the Fountaingrove district in Sonoma. This was a luxurious Cabernet Franc with notes of chocolate, mocha, red fruit, and baking spice. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
While Cabernet Franc is often known for being part of a bigger whole, its savory tendencies, spice, red fruit, and finish make it a clear contender for its own spotlight.