Meritage, pronounced like heritage, first appeared in the late 1980s after a group of American vintners in Napa Valley joined forces to create a name for New World wines blended in the tradition of Bordeaux. Meritage was selected from more than 6,000 entries in an international contest. Meritage combines "merit," reflecting the quality of the grapes, with "heritage," which recognizes the centuries-old tradition of blending, long considered being the highest form of the winemaker's art.
In order to obtain a license and use the term Meritage on a wine label, a wine must meet certain criteria and be a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and or Carmenère. The first Meritage wine we featured in our Diamond Wine Club was from Abios Cellars in Napa.
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