Cabernet Franc is an age old variety, and evidence suggests similarities of a wild vine, that have been selected and cultivated over time. Cabernet Franc is the third most significant Bordeaux variety, yet it is scarcely cultivated in Austria, with the exception of a small concentration of plantings in Siegendorf.


probably Bordeaux, France


Selected from wild vines

Vineyard area

106.29 ha; 0.2%

Red wine grape variety


Cabernet Franc is a very old grape variety. The natural crossing between this grape and Sauvignon Blanc created Cabernet Sauvignon.

Vineyard area

The variety has been approved as an Austrian Qualitätswein variety since 1986, and is most widespread in Burgenland and Wien.

A picture shows grapes of the grape variety Cabernet Franc.

Important ampelographic features

© Austrian Wine / Oberleithner

Important ampelographic features


five to seven lobes, deeply lobed

Grape cluster

medium-sized, medium density, cone-shaped, with small secondary clusters or none at all; berries are round-to-oval and bluish black in colour



very early
early to middle
middle to late
very late

Significance & conditions

With the exception of large areas under vine in Burgenland, Cabernet Franc is still relatively rare in Austria. This variety, along with Merlot, is used in the Bordeaux blend. It is a robust variety and can grow in meagre soils, but requires well-situated vineyards due to its late ripening.

Area under vine in Austria
(as a proportion of the variety’s total area)

Click on the wine origin in the list for a breakdown into more specific regions of origin.

Total area in Austria:

A picture shows a person holding a glass of red wine.

Characteristics of the wine

© Austrian Wine / Blickwerk Fotografie

Characteristics of the wine

Compared to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc produces paler, less dense wines with a more delicate bouquet and body. It is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and matured in barriques. Unripe grapes yield grassy, greenish-tasting wines.

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: Calculation by Austrian Wine based on data from BML/IACS (as at 28 June 2023). Moving annual total (MAT) from June 2022 to June 2023.)



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