THE HISTORY OF CABERNET FRANC:
It’s complex and goes back to at least the seventeenth century in France. What is most interesting, is that it’s a genetic parent of multiple varietals that we all know and love today – most notably Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Now it’s used often to blend with those varietals in a Bordeaux style. It came to the United States of America a few centuries later in California, although it truly thrives in Washington State. Throughout history it has fluctuated in popularity, with many people only appreciating it as a blending grape rather than a stand alone varietal.
So why does Kate Tillie make a single varietal Cabernet Franc? Because the Cabernet Franc produced in Washington deserves a spotlight of it’s own. In our opinion, it is one of the most interesting varietals to work with in the cellar because it can shine without manipulation, and with minimal oak. As a winery that honors family history, we think that a grape that has parented so many other varietals should be acknowledged all on it’s own for everything wonderful that it can bring to the table.