Cabernet Franc

A picture shows grapes of the grape variety Cabernet Franc
© AWMB / Oberleitner

Origin: France, Bordeaux

Parentage: Selected from wild vines. Cabernet Franc is a very old grape variety. Its natural crossing with Sauvignon blanc created Cabernet Sauvignon.

Vineyard area: 74 ha, 0.2 %. The variety has been registered as an Austrian Qualitätswein variety since 1986, and can be found in Burgenland and Niederösterreich.

Important ampelographic features
Leaf: five to seven lobes - deeply lobed
Grape cluster: medium-sized; moderately compact, conical; either small wings or none at all; with round, oval and blueish-black coloured grapes

Ripening time: very late

Significance, conditions: Except for its presence in some large vineyard areas of Burgenland, Cabernet Franc is seldom found in Austria. This variety is joined by Merlot in the making of Bordeaux wines. It is a sturdy variety suitable for growth in meager soils, but requires very good vineyard sites especially because it ripens late in the season.

Wine: Compared to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc provides lighter, less powerful wines with a lighter bouquet and body. It is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and matured in barriques. Unripe grapes yield grassy, greenish-tasting wines.