The Origins of the Cabernet Sauvignon
Latest from Nature Genetics
The Economist (yep, really) carried an article entitled "Secrets of the Cabernet" in May which described the findings of Bowers and Meredith, reported in Nature Genetics, on the origins of the world's most famous red wine grape. They won't let me reproduce it unless I pay, so I'll restrict myself here to a brief description culled from the abstract published in Nature Genetics.
Meredith and Cole analysed the grape's microsatellite sites (stretches of DNA that repeat the same two or three genetic letters), which can show how a number of individuals may be related to each other by the similarities between the number of times a sequence is repeated.
The results, rather surprisingly, indicate that the claret grape is a hybrid between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon, by the way, simply means "wild" - nothing to do philologically with the Sauvignon Blanc. So there!