The marriage of Cabernet Sauvignon with the soil and climate of Oakville produces some of great and highly coveted wines, from legendary wines like Heitz Martha’s Vineyard and Robert Mondavi, To Kalon, to modern classics such as: Opus One, Groth, Far Niente and Paradigm, to “cult” wines such as: Screaming Eagle, Dalla Valle and Harlan Estate. Many of Napa’s most-respected, highest-scoring, and most-collectible Cabernet Sauvignon wines come from Oakville.
Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most widely planted wine grapes in the world, but it achieves true greatness only in those few special places where the ideal climate and soil for growing the variety prevail.
Native to Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is a comparatively young variety of wine grape that did not become a major factor in Bordeaux until the latter part of the 19th Century—around the same time the grape was first planted in Napa Valley.
Cabernet Sauvignon’s origins were not precisely known until U.C. Davis researchers examined the variety’s DNA. They determined conclusively that it was the result of a cross-pollination of Cabernet Franc and the white grape Sauvignon Blanc, likely the result of a serendipitous accident of nature in a French vineyard rather than the calculated tinkering of a grower or scientist.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a late-ripening grape variety, and it is not uncommon for the grapes to be left on the vine into the month of October so that they can develop their full flavor potential. While many Cabernet-producing regions, including Bordeaux, routinely receive fall rains that can dilute unpicked grapes or even cause them to rot on the vine, Oakville generally escapes rainfall until the grapes are harvested and safely under the care of the winemaker.