Cabernet Franc

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.

Origin

probably Bordeaux, France

Parentage

Selected from wild vines

Vineyard area

74 ha, 0.2%

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

Parentage: Cabernet Franc is a very old grape variety. Its natural crossing with Sauvignon Blanc created Cabernet Sauvignon.

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 frequently blended with Merlot in the production of Bordeaux wines. It is a robust variety suitable for growth in meagre soils, but requires very good vineyard sites, since 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.