It is one of the most often planted varieties in Southern France, Algeria and Morocco, and is a major red variety in South Africa, Corsica, and Lebanon. The North African plantings were particularly important when, as colonies of France, their wine was shipped across the Mediterranean for blending. There are also Cinsault plantings in Australia, although it has yet to achieve popularity there.

The tight bunches rot easily, so it does best in drier climes. The Cinsault vine is fairly drought tolerant and has a fairly short growing season. With cluster stems that easily detach from the vine, Cinsault adapts well to machine harvesting.

Wine made from Cinsault grapes can have great perfume and supple texture. Fairly low in tannin, it is often made into rosé by itself or blended, to brighten the fruit and tone down the harsher edges of carignan, in particular.