Cabernet Franc

Classic aromas of Cabernet Franc are: Raspberry, Strawberry, Red Plum, Red Currants, Green Capsicum and Grass


Cabernet Franc is a red grape from France. It, along with Sauvignon Blanc, are the parents of the illustrious Cabernet Sauvignon. It has a long-debated history but the lineage has been tracked down to a diary entry made in 1859. This diary belonged to Henry-Xavier Bouchereau, the, then, proprietor of Chateau Carbonnieux of Bordeaux, France. Cabernet Franc was one of the many grapes that he had growing in his collection – of over 1,200. His collection is perhaps the largest single collection of wine grapes in history.

Cabernet Franc is grown throughout France though is dominated in the Loire Valley and Bordeaux. In the Loire Valley it is produced as a single varietal wine in the regions of Chinon and Saint-Nicholas-de-Bourgeuil. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc is the third most important grape variety in the famous ‘Bordeaux blend’. The Loire Valley is a cooler climate and Bordeaux a significantly warmer climate, which shows Cabernet Franc’s ability to cope numerous vineyard factors.

In cooler climates, such as the Loire Valley, Cabernet Franc gives wines with aromas of tart-raspberry, strawberry and red currant flavours. It also can have a leafy, herbaceous aroma – that to some can initially be off-putting but is something that grows on you. In warmer climates, such as Bordeaux or California, Cabernet Franc gives wines that have riper strawberry, red plum and dried currant flavours. Cabernet Franc also works well as a fruit-forward style, or as a more serious, riper, richer wine that has been aged in oak. 

As Cabernet Franc is part of the ‘Bordeaux blend’ it is natural to guess that it is grown all around the world – or rather wherever Cabernet Sauvignon has found a home, which is everywhere. In the blend Cabernet Franc gives acidity and red fruit flavours. 

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