Merlot is a grape that, on the whole, produces approachable red wines which are soft, warm and unchallenging. It has gained tremendous popularity on the American market, which means that now parts of the Bordeaux wine region are abandoning Cabernet Sauvignon to grow the more profitable Merlot grape. Chile grows a huge amount of Merlot as does California. And the wines are becoming more complex and demanding as tastes develop. In north eastern Italy Merlot is used for light, dry, fruity wines. It is also grown in North Eastern Italy to help meet the world demand for these wines.