by Fred McMillin
for May 17, 1999


Tony Meets Franc


What some consider to be the greatest wine of all time was two-thirds Cabernet Franc.

...From March 23, 1999 WineDay

Acres of Cabernet Franc in California:
1980 - 76
1985 - 294
1990 - 1,130
1994 - 1,740

The Rest of the Story

Noted British author Jancis Robinson has watched California and observes that the state's vintners "have been rearing Cabernet Franc with zeal since the 1980s. It is expected to play an increasingly important role there."

My tastings reflect that growing importance. In the small-acreage category, both in 1996 and 1997 the winning small-acreage varietal was a Cabernet Franc, not a Sangiovese, not a Petit Verdot, etc.

Here's another good one from my latest blind tasting, made by Tony and Herta Peju (pictured).

Tony & Herta Peju  
Wine of the Day

1995 Cabernet Franc, Napa Valley
Peju Province Winery, Rutherford, CA
Food Affinities—Lots of flavor but not too heavy for veal, lamb and ham...more fruit than the heavy, beef-friendly flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Rating—Medal winner in World Wine Championships. My tasters gave it a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Contact—Ms. Herta Peju, (707) 963-3600, FAX (707) 963-8680
Price—$25 range


Some decades ago British-born Tony Peju made an emergency exit from Azerbaijan with but the clothes on his back and $300 in his pocket. For more, see the October 17,1998 WineDay article, " Tony's Travails.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.


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