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Blaufränkisch is a grape that ripens late. It was first officially documented at a viticultural exposition in Austria in 1862. At 19%, it is the second most important red wine in Austria after Zweigelt. Overall it takes up 6,5% of all Austrian vineyards.
Because BF is a late ripening variety and susceptible to cool weather, it needs plenty of sun and warmth in the vineyards vineyards to reach its full potential. The eastern wine regions in Austria, on the border to Hungary, provide this with dry warm winds sweeping in over the plains from the East and plenty of sun. In fact, the Burgenland is famous for its many hours of sun. This beneficial climate is beneficial for Blaufränkisch, making it the main grape variety in Leithaberg, Mittelburgenland and Südburgenland (Eisenberg). DAC wines from these regions are all made from the BF grape. Carnuntum also produces some excellent BF wines.
Outside of Austria, Blaufränkisch is probably not the most obvious choice to grab on the way home from work.
Why is this? Well, on one hand, it is not well known internationally. On the other hand, we suspect that the name itself might be a bit of a struggle outside the German-speaking world. And finally, the flavour is not easily compared with other red wines, and may also appear a little harsh at first sip.
We recommend them to you anyway, because these wines often have a dense, tannic structure while still young, but become smooth and lush with age. Give them a chance to breathe.
It is a wonderfully fruity wine with prominent notes of blackberry and cherry, elegant spicy notes, as well as the acidity typical for practically all Austrian wines. The structure, tannins and acidity make Blaufränkisch a wine with excellent ageing potential.
We offer a wide range of Blaufränkisch from each of the DAC regions. Check out our winemakers from Leithaberg: Sommer and Wagentristl. Mittelburgenland is represented by Bauer-Pöltl and Kerschbaum, and the Eisenberg by Schützenhof.
Additionally, the rosé wines made from Blaufränkisch are worth a mention! Crisp and dry but fruity with a beautiful pink colour.
Blaufränkisch at the Table
As is the case with most red wines, Blaufränkisch pairs well with meat dishes. The young wine is quite fruity and classically pairs well with fried chicken or Schnitzel (try serving the wine slightly chilled), or the typical Martini goose. If you don’t have immediate access to this Austrian dish, you could give it a go with roast turkey too!
The rich and full-bodied reserve wines are often paired with venison dishes and goulash during the hunting season here in Austria. Try it with grilled meat like a tenderloin, and definitely open a BF with that cheeseburger you put on the bbq. As we always say, anything pairing is possible, as long as you enjoy it!
Some suggestions from our side:
Blaufränkisch is mainly grown in Austria and is considered an indigenous grape. Wines from this grape are also produced in most of central Europe (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania). In Germany, the grape is known as Blauer Lemberger. It is produced in small quantities, and the wines are lighter with softer tannins than the Austrian variety.
In the New World, you will find it in Australia, Canada and the U.S..
Blaufränkisch is a great parent
Blaufränkisch has been used as a parent varietal in several crosses to create new grape varieties. The most well-known one is Zweigelt (Blaufränkisch x St. Laurent). Others in Austria are Blauburger (BF x Blauer Portugieser) and Rösler. BF has also been used for new grape varietals internationally, so clearly it has some great qualities to pass on.