This grape probably originated in France where it was first mentioned in the 14th century. The Merlot's parents are the almost extinct Magdeleine Noire des Charentes and Cabernet Franc.
Merlot is the third most common grape in the world and is cultivated on an area of around 160,000 hectares. It is grown mostly in Bordeaux. Around 200 hectares have been dedicated to it in the Palatinate. It prefers deep soils with good water supplies.
It ripens early to produce fruity and full- and rich-bodied wines with typical aromas of plum, cherry and blackcurrant.