Merlot, a red grape cultivated throughout the world is a native of Bordeaux. DNA shows one parent is Cabernet Franc. Suggestion is that the name came from Merli or Merlau (blackbird in Italian and French).

In Italy it is particularly popular in the northern regions of Trentino Alto Adige, Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia and ranks third among the most widely planted red varietals.