by Josh F., Wine Enthusiast Companies
The term “Meritage” is a combining of the words Medoc and Heritage. It refers to American (mostly California) wines that are a blend of Bordeaux grape varieties, primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, for red wine. To use the term on a wine label, wineries must license it from the Meritage Association and adhere to guidelines such as: it must be produced in quantities not exceeding 25,000 cases in a vintage and it must be one of the two most expensive wines that a winery produces. Before the term was coined many wineries created their own proprietary names for their meritage style wines and many of those names still remain. Some of the more famous names are; Dominus, Insignia, Opus One, Cask 23, Cain 5, and Rubicon.