Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

California winemaker’s secret weapon, increasingly popular (in an age when depth of colour is automatically associated with quality in wine) red-fleshed hybrid, released, along with the somewhat similar but much less successful royalty, in 1958. Its productivity and depth of colour made the variety so popular with blenders of wine, juice, and some food products, that by 2003 there were more than 13,000 acres/5,200 ha in the state, making it California’s sixth most popular red grape. Total acreage was still 12,000 acres in 2012—almost as much as Sauvignon Blanc. It is grown, without any major viticultural problems, mainly in the hot san joaquin valley, and is never mentioned on a wine label.