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Black grape variety cultivated in Apulia

Cabernet Sauvignon n.

Wine grape variety, of important national and international diffusion, present also in Apulia, where it is among the suitable varieties in the whole region.

Origin and Historical Outline

The wine variety Cabernet Sauvignon n. comes from Bordeaux, region of the South-West of France. It was described in detail in 1785 by Secondat, son of Montesquieu, as a “perfect vine”.

In Italy it reached Piedmont at the beginning of the nineteenth century. In 1870, on the Euganean Hills, there was an extensive vineyard of Cabernets (Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon).

Research carried out with the study of DNA (Bowers J.E. and Meredith C.P., 1997) using 30 microsatellite loci, demonstrated the relationship of direct kinship between Cabernet franc and Cabernet sauvignon, with the latter which is the result of the crossing between Cabernet franc and Sauvignon blanc.


Bordò, Breton, Cabernè, Cabernet piccolo, Veron. 

Shoot tip: expanded, fluffy, white-yellowish, with bright wine-red or pink shades at the tip.

Leaf: medium size, pentagonal-circular, flat profile, pentalobate or heptalobate. The petiole sinus has often overlapping lobes and is frequently marked by veins along the margins of one of the two sides. Closed, U-shaped upper and lower lateral sinuses, with often overlapping leaf margins, producing almost circular openings.

Bunch: low weight, conical or pyramid-shaped, often with a prominent wings, mostly dense.

Berry: low weight, spheroidal, with thick, compact and pruinose skin, blue-black colour, taste of violas and sorb apples, astringent.

Time of bud burst: intermediate

Flowering time: early-intermediate

Veraison: intermediate

Ripening: intermediate-early

Vigour: fairly vigorous and productive

Average bunch weight: 170 g (min 110 g – max 250 g)

Average berry weight: 1.4 g (min 1.2 g – max 1.7 g)

Number of seeds per berry: 1 4

Average rachis weight: 14 g

Fertility of buds: 1 – 2

Potential fertility: 1.4

Actual fertility: 1.1

Vine with good rusticity. Average and consistent production. Adapts very well to poor soils, rich in skeleton, with a good water-holding capacity.

Alcoholic content: 11.0 – 14.0 % by vol.

pH: 3.20 – 3.60

Total acidity: 4.5 – 8.5 g/l

The Cabernet Sauvignon n. vine is used exclusively for vinification. Vinified as a single variety, the wine may lack complexity, while it gives its best in blends with other varieties, with excellent results even with indigenous varieties from Apulia. It produces great wines for ageing, showing elegance and aroma. In Apulia it is used for the production of the QWpsr Castel del Monte wine.

The wine is deep ruby red in colour, full-bodied and alcoholic, sometimes tannic and hard, but improving after ageing. Following this, the wine’s aroma, the characteristic herbaceous flavour of green pepper, less intense than in Cabernet franc, changes towards more pleasant and complex aromas, with notes of violet.

The Cabernet Sauvignon vine is one of the most widespread in the world. It is practically present throughout Italy and therefore also in Apulia, where it is registered among the varieties suitable for cultivation throughout its territory.

Antonacci Donato

The data sheet of the Cabernet Sauvignon n., revised and updated, is extracted from: Antonacci Donato (2006). Viti di Puglia, Adda publisher. Its use is granted by the author citing the source.