The oldest records show that Merlot vines may come from the Saint-Emilion and Pomerol regions. However it is known that it was grown there on a large scale at the beginning of the 18 th century. From its homeland (Bordeaux), Merlot travelled a long way and spreaded not only in Europe, but also in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and so-called New World. Nowadays, after Cabernet Sauvignon lost its popularity in 1990s, Merlot is the most popular grape variety in France, which is responsible for about a half of word production. Merlot is a universal variety – it can be find in both single-strain and blended wines, most often softening the expressive Cabernet Sauvignon, giving the drink mildness and fruitiness.
Merlot adapts well to different climatic conditions, although the best results are obtained in a cooler climate. Merlot grapes creates a wine which is great to drink – mild with sweet smell. When ripe grapes are used, forest fruits and plum with floral notes dominate. Due to aging we can also feel caramel or dried herbs. Merlot is a wine which both amateurs and connoisseurs will appreciate. Because of thin skin on grapes it has low content of tannins and reduced acidity, which gives mild character and velvety. In contrary to Cabernet Sauvignon, which likes long-term aging, Merlot wine can be drunk when it is young. Abundant crops must be harvested in the right time and cautiously segregates, because Merlot grapes have tendency to rot. This wine can be aged in barrels, what gives the aroma of coffee and chocolate. What is more we can sense the smell of blackberry, bird cherry and plum. The colours of individual wines may be from ruby to intense violet depending on the age and area of cultivation. It is the best in about three to four years after the harvest. Merlot’s aging potential is good, but should not exceed 10 years. This wine goes well with meat (lamb, mutton, chicken), cheese and chocolate, but its tasting does not require any support of sophisticated dishes, because thanks to its mild character it also tastes great solo.