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
74 ha, 0.2%
Vineyard area: 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.