An international red variety originating from Bordeaux, France. Its cultivation was deemed necessary in order to improve the red wines produced from certain Greek red varieties.
In Greece it was first grown in Metsovo and its popularity soon spread to a number of regions all over Greece (from Crete to Thrace; its cultivation is permitted or recommended in 23 prefectures), however without it taking up large expanses due to its relatively low productivity when compared with Greek varieties. It ripens in the first half of September.
When properly ripened the grapes of this variety yield a well-balanced wine in terms of alcoholic content and acidity. Over-ripened grapes have an adverse effect on the wine`s acidity and aromatic potential.
When cultivated in suitable soil – and always taking its level of productivity into consideration – it produces wines with a vivid colour, a high aromatic potential that evolves into a complex bouquet with ageing, body and tannins that require the wine to be stored in oak barrels for many months in order for it to become mellow, well rounded and balanced.
The Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with other varieties and even when used in small quantities – usually between 5% and 20% – it enhances and supports the colour, aroma, body and palate fullness and balance, lending its own distinctive character to the final product.
The Cabernet Sauvignon is blended with the Limnio and Cabernet France varieties to produce the dry red V.Q.P.R.D. `Côtes de Meliton` and is also used in making a number of Vins de Pays (Agioreitikos [of Mount Athos], Attikos [of Attica], Dramas [of Drama], Makedonikos [of Macedonia], Plagies Petrotou [Côtes de Petroto], Tryfilias [of Trifylia], etc.) and Table wines.
[Text and photos taken from the book 'Wine-producing varieties of the Greek vineyard' by Haroula Spinthiropoulou - Olive Press Publications, 2000 (in Greek)]