Merlot and cabernet sauvignon share the same father—cabernet franc. But who was merlot’s mother?

A. Malbec

B. Manseng Noir

C. Carménère

D. Magdeleine Noire des Charentes


In the early 1990s, grape geneticists determined that merlot was the offspring of cabernet franc. But merlot’s other parent remained a mystery for ten years, until the French scientist Jean-Michel Boursiquot found merlot’s unnamed mother in an abandoned vineyard in Brittany, France. A few years later, more moms were found in the Charentes region of southwestern France. Bourisquot named the vines Magdeleine Noire des Charentes.

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