Cabernet Sauvignon originates from the crossing Cabernet Franc x Sauvignon Blanc. In the 1980's, the variety took Austria by storm, and was by far the most favoured international variety.

Origin

France, Bordeaux

Parentage

Natural crossing of Cabernet Franc x Sauvignon Blanc

Vineyard area

571.72 ha; 1.3%

Vineyard area

This grape was introduced to Austria in the 1980s – during the time when international varieties were taking over. Cabernet Sauvignon has been an approved Austrian Qualitätswein variety since 1986. Traditionally, the international Cabernet regions are still Bordeaux and California, but there are also others, such as Maremma in Italy.

A picture shows grapes of the grape variety Cabernet Sauvignon.
© Austrian Wine / Oberleithner

Important ampelographic features

Leaf

circular, with five to seven lobes, deeply lobed, overlapping petiole, moderately hairy underside

Grape cluster

medium-sized, loose to medium density, cone-shaped, with secondary clusters; berries are round and bluish black in colour

Ripening

Ripening

very early
early
early to middle
middle
middle to late
late
very late

Significance & conditions

Cabernet Sauvignon is popular as a monovarietal wine or blended in a cuvée. While it is not very demanding in terms of soil, location of the vineyard is paramount. Early-season, warm sites are necessary to avoid unripe, grassy wines. As a high-yielding variety, the volume of fruit needs restricting to produce good quality.

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.
© Austrian Wine / Blickwerk Fotografie

Characteristics of the wine

As a young wine, Cabernet Sauvignon has a dense, fruity bouquet, is somewhat rough on the palate and has noticeable tannins. As it ages, a good Cabernet Sauvignon gains delicate toasted aromas, as well as aromas of blackcurrant, liquorice and bell peppers. The wines need a longer time to develop, to allow the tannins to ripen. They only reach their peak after being left for a sufficient period of time. Maturing in small wooden casks is virtually a must as it complements the variety perfectly.

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)

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