In the United States, Cabernet Franc grapes were first planted in New York and Washington. When first brought to California in 1872, the grape was scarcely used until several acres were planted in Napa Valley in the mid-1960s.
California now has about 2,000 acres, mostly planted since 1980 with half that total in Napa and Sonoma. The flavor profile of Cabernet Franc may be both fruitier and sometimes more herbal or vegetative than Cabernet Sauvignon, although lighter in color and softer in tannins.
Cabernet Franc is more aromatic than Cabernet Sauvignon, typically somewhat spicy and often reminiscent of plums and especially violets. These characteristics help the wine to pair well with strong cheeses, chocolate, red meat, and pasta dishes.