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Meritage/ Red Blend


For a wine to be labeled as a single varietal, that wine must contain at least 75% of that specific grape. In an effort to eliminate confusion and help brand wines that contain less than 75% of a single varietal, a group of Napa Valley vintners created the Heritage Association in 1998. 


A wine may be labeled as a Meritage if it contains at least two or more of the following varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, St. Macaire, Gros Verdot, or Carmenère with no one varietal comprising more than 90% of the blend. If a blended red wine fails to meet these standards, it is known instead as a Red Blend. 


Although many people, including many wine experts, have a tendency to Frenchify the word "Meritage" by pronouncing its last syllable with a "zh" sound, as in "garage," the Meritage Alliance specifically states that the word should be pronounced to rhyme with "heritage.