Merlot has long been one of the world‟s best loved wine varietals. The grape gets its name from an old Occitan word meaning “young blackbird”, in reference to the grape‟s dark blue color. But…while Merlot is often noted for its smooth character, its recent history has been anything but. Permit us to rewind a little.
Grown in France since at least the 1700s, (the grape is first mentioned in the writings of a Bordeax official in 1784), Merlot enjoyed a favorable position amongst vintners for centuries. In 1965 however, all that would change. That year, France experienced one of the harshest winters in her history, including a deep freezing that killed off many of the country‟s merlot vines.
Naturally, come spring, vineyards began replanting with the hope of reviving their Merlot crop. Sadly, wine tragedy struck again when a widespread ground rot killed off many of the recently replanted vines. As with any serious wine problem in France, the government stepped in, issuing a country-wide ban on Merlot planting that remained in place until 1975. Quelle horreur! Thankfully, France‟s Merlot crop has remained relatively unscathed since that year.
In celebration of this noble grape, we‟ve decided to do what we do best – develop a new tea blend! We‟ve started with a luxury grade black tea, then added dried elderberries, raisins, hibiscus petals and natural flavors to create a cup we feel encapsulates the spirit and character of the wine itself. A votre santé!