The Blaufränkisch is a thoroughly central European variety. This traditional Austrian variety is probably a cross between Sbulzina and Weißer Heunisch. Blaufränkisch was previously widely-planted throughout the Habsburg Monachy, and is the most important variety in Mittelburgenland, called Blaufränkischland.
Documentary evidence of this variety in Austria dates back to the 18th century in Austria. It was only later that there was evidence of the variety in Germany, where it was referred to as “Lemberger” or “Limberger”, after the town of Limberg – the former name of Maissau in Lower Austria. In Hungary, this variety is known as Kékfrankos.
An old autochthonous variety that is probably a natural crossing between Sbulzina and Weißer Heunisch.
Blaufränkisch was used as a crossing partner for new Austrian cultivars like Zweigelt, Blauburger, Roesler and Ráthay. International vine cultivation institutes have also used the variety for their crossings.
Blaufränkisch, an autochthonous variety, is primarily found in the wine-growing regions of northern, central and southern Burgenland, as well as in the eastern wine-growing regions of Niederösterreich.
Significance & conditions
It is the flagship variety in Südburgenland (Eisenberg), Mittelburgenland (known as “Blaufränkischland”) and Leithaberg. It is also a key variety in Carnuntum. These regions all produce DAC wines with typicity of origin. This variety is very demanding in terms of where it grows. It is especially prone to coulure if the weather is cool during the flowering phase.
Area under vine in Austria
(as a proportion of the variety’s total area)
Characteristics of the wine
The typical bouquet of Blaufränkisch wines displays profound notes of wild berries or cherries, as well as a powerful acidity characteristic of this grape. Blaufränkisch can yield outstanding wines with dense structure and prominent tannins. The wines are often impetuous in their youth but develop velvety facets when sufficiently mature. Dense wines have very good ageing potential.
Source varietal specifications: Höhere Bundeslehranstalt und Bundesamt für Wein- und Obstbau (Federal College and Federal Office for Viticulture, Oenology and Fruit Growing) in Klosterneuburg, “Austria’s Qualitätswein grape varieties and their clones“ („Österreichische Qualitätsweinrebsorten und deren Klone“), 2nd, reviewed edition, September 2015
Source area under vine: Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism according to IACS (as at 31 May 2022)