Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Meritage (rhymes with heritage), name coined in 1981, by the winner of a competition in the Los Angeles Times, for American wines made in the image of a bordeaux blend, devised to distinguish these wines from varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, etc., most usefully on wine lists. This trade-marked name is legally available on labels only to American wineries that agree to join the Meritage Alliance (previously Association) and for wines that are made exclusively from two or more of the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot grapes for red wines (the less widely planted St-Macaire, Gros Verdot, and Carmenère are also allowed), and Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Muscadelle for whites. Nearly but not all of the members are in california. The term is now relatively rarely used in California but is common in other US states such as virginia.