‘Every year we sell out’: Why this under-the-radar red wine is suddenly in vogue Photo of Jess Lander Jess Lander Feb. 6, 2023 Updated: Feb. 6, 2023 8:52 a.m.

At Captain Vineyards we grow Cabernet Franc

It is one of our flag ship wines!!

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Traditionally treated as a supporting cast member to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc is poised for a breakout role in California. 

Suddenly in vogue for its distinct aromas and ability to pair well with many foods, demand for this red grape variety from Bordeaux is so high that it’s more expensive than Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Franc in Napa County cost wineries an average of $9,300 per ton in 2021 — up from $4,200 in 2007 — compared to $8,000 a ton for Cabernet Sauvignon, according to the Department of Agriculture’s California Grape Crush Report. 

Kashy Khaledi, proprietor of Napa’s trendy Ashes & Diamonds, said the cost of Cabernet Franc grapes he sources has risen 30% over two years. It’s forced him to raise bottle prices this year, from $75 to $80 — though that’s unlikely to slow down sales. “Every year we sell out of it,” said Khaledi. “Every year it becomes more and more successful.”