Traditionally, it is believed to have come from Bordeaux but its origins are actually unknown. Of the Cabernet family, Sauvignon is the most famous and it stems from a spontaneous cross between Cabernet franc and Sauvignon bianco.
The Marchese Incisa della Rocchetta, who had introduced it to his collection in 1860, described it as: “A grape variety of ordinary robustness, but vigorous; it loves more fertile soil than Cabernet franc and yields even production every year. The grape has a distinct flavour, but it is a bit bitter. The cultivar is to be regarded as one of the best prized and is worthy of propagated.”
It is a grape variety that bears good productive stability both in different environments and in different vintages; it prefers clayey soil that is not too fertile so as to avoid coulure damage to the flowers.