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

Cabernet Sauvignon has been authorized as an Austrian Qualitätswein variety since 1986. This grape was brought to Austria in the 1980s as part of the international variety “invasion”. The classic international Cabernet regions are still Bordeaux and California, but there are others, including 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 incised; petiole is overlapping; moderately hairy underside

Grape cluster

medium-sized; conical; loose to moderately compact berries; has wings; grapes are round with a blueish-black colour

Ripening

Ripening

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

Significance & conditions

Cabernet Sauvignon is appreciated as a single variety wine or as part of a cuvée. While it has no strong soil demands, an excellent vineyard site is key. Early, warm sites are necessary so that unripe, grassy wines are not made. Because it is a high yield variety, yield regulation is necessary for 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: 571.72 ha

A picture shows a person holding a glass of red wine.
© Austrian Wine / Blickwerk Fotografie

Characteristics of the wine

As a young wine, it is fruity and somewhat rough at the edges with strong tannins and a powerful bouquet. A good Cabernet Sauvignon improves during ageing with delicate roasted tones and expressions of black currant, and often liquorice and green pepper. As a late-ripening variety, it must be planted in warm sites, otherwise the wines will likely show a grassy or green pepper spice character. The wines need a longer development time so that the tannins can ripen. Only when aged for a good amount of time does the wine reach its peak. Maturing in barriques is practically obligatory – 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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