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Cabernet Franc





Cabernet Franc is one of the major red grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire's Chinon. In addition to being used in blends and produced as a varietal in Canada and the United States it is made into ice wine there.

Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wine and contributing finesse and a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, and cassis, sometimes even violets.

Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century; it was planted in Loire long before that. DNA analysis indicates Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, a cross between it and Sauvignon Blanc

 

History


Cabernet Franc is believed to have been established in the Libournais region of southwest France sometime in the 17th century when Cardinal Richelieu transported cuttings of the vine to the Loire Valley. They were planted at the Abbey of Bourgueil under the care of an abbot named Breton, whose name became associated with the grape. By the 18th century, plantings of Cabernet Franc (known as Bouchet) were found throughout Fronsac, Pomerol and St-Emilion, making quality wines. As Cabernet Sauvignon became more popular in the 18th & 19th century, the close similarity of the two grapes was observed and theories emerged as to the extent of the relationship. In 1997 DNA evidence emerged to show that Cabernet Franc crossed with Sauvignon blanc to produce Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Wine regions


By 2000 there were over 17,300 acres (7000 ha) of Cabernet Franc in Italy. However, the grape variety is commonly confused with both Cabernet Sauvignon and the ancient Bordeaux grape Carmenere so the true acreage may not be known till more vineyards have been surveyed by ampelographers. It is mostly planted in the far northeast of Italy, particularly in Friuli, but it is also found in the wines of the Veneto (where is known as Bordo), as part of some Chianti blends, even as far south as Puglia. Plantings of Cabernet Franc in Tuscany have been increasing in recent years, particularly in the Bolgheri and Maremma region where the grape is prized for the balance and elegance that it brings to blends. Italians wines often labeled simply as "Cabernet" tend to be primarily Cabernet Franc or a blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon 

 


Viticulture and winemaking


In general, Cabernet Franc is very similar to Cabernet Sauvignon, but buds and ripens at least a week earlier. This trait allows the vine to thrive in slightly cooler climates than Cabernet Sauvignon, such as the Loire Valley. In Bordeaux, plantings of Cabernet Franc are treated as an "insurance policy" against inclement weather close to harvest that may damage plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon. Its early budding does pose the viticultural hazard of coulure early in the growing season. The vine is vigorous and upright, with dark-green, 5-lobed leaves. The winged bunches are elongate and small-medium in size. The berries are quite small and blue-black in color, with fairly thin skins. The Cabernet Franc grapevine is more prone to mutation than Cabernet Sauvignon, less so than Pinot noir.


Cabernet franc leaf

Cabernet Franc can adapt to a wide variety of vineyard soil types but seems to thrive in sandy, chalk soils, producing heavier, more full bodied wines there. In the Loire Valley, terroir based differences can be perceived between wines made from grapes grown in gravel terraces versus tuffeau slopes. The grape is highly yield sensitive, with over-cropping producing wines with more green, vegetal notes.

Environmental and cultural characteristics and needs : It has medium leaf, orbicular, five-lobed, medium cluster, cylindrical-conical, medium compact, winged, medium-sized berry tending to medium-small, spherical, very tough skin, blue- black, rich in bloom.
It prefers hilly terrain, and deep clay, pebbly. The training system in the counter seems to be the most suitable, and has average production constant.

Diseases and adversity : it has a certain sensitivity to downy mildew , all ' powdery mildew and sour rot is easily attacked by botrytis , and is particularly sensitive to desiccation of the spine and the lack of potassium. It supports quite well the cold winter.

Follows, by region, a list of all DOC and DOCG is allowed where the use of this vine
Piedmont :
 - Tortona hills: a variable percentage
- Monferrato: 85-100% with mention of the vine

Trentino-Alto Adige :
 - Alto Adige: 85-100% with mention of the vine
 - Valdadige: 00-50%
 - Trentino: 25-75% (two red varieties), 00-100% (Red), 85-100% with mention of the vine

Veneto :
 - Arcole: 00-50% (red), 85-100% with mention of the vine
 - Bagnoli: 00-15% (Red), 85-100% with mention of the vine
 - Bardolino: 00-10%
 - Breganze: 00-50% (Red), 85-100% with mention of the vine
 - Berici: 85-100% with mention of the vine
 - Colli di Conegliano: 10-40%
 - Hills Hills: 00-40% (Red), 85-100% with mention of the vine
 - Benedictine Courts of Padua: 00-30% (Rose, Orange), 85-100% with mention of the vine
 - Lison-Pramaggiore: 85-100% with mention of the vine
 - Merlara: 00-50% (Red), 85-100% with mention of the vine
 - Montello e Colli Asolani: 00-60% (Red), 85-100% with mention of the grape, 00-50% (type Venegazzù)
 - Monti Lessini: 00-50%
 - Piave: 95-100% with mention of the vine
 - Riviera del Brenta: 00-50% (Red), 85-100% with mention of the vine
 - Vicenza: 85-100% with mention of the vine

Lombardia :
 - Curtefranca: 00-65%
 - Garda Classico: 85-100% with mention of the vine
 - Garda Colli Mantovani: 15-20% (Red), 85-100% with mention of the vine

Friuli VG :
 - Karst: 85-100% with mention of the vine
 - Colli Orientali del Friuli: 00-100% (Red Rosazzo), 85-100% with mention of the vine
 - Collio: 00-100% (Red), 85-100% with mention of the vine
 - Friuli Annia: 90-100% with mention of the vine
 - Friuli Aquileia: 00-100% (Rose), 00-50% (red), 100% with mention of the vine
 - Friuli Grave: 100% with mention of the vine
 - Friuli Isonzo: 00-100% (rose, red), 100% with mention of the vine
 - Friuli Latisana: 00-30% (Rose, Orange), 85-100% with mention of the vine

Emilia Romagna :
 - Colli di Parma: 85-100% with mention of the vine

Tuscany :
 - Carmignano : 00-20%
 - Chianti : 00-15% (Red), 00-10% (Colli Senesi)
 - Barco Reale di Carmignano: 00-20%
 - Colli Etruria Centrale: 00-50%

Brands :
 - Colli Maceratesi: 00-50%
 - Colli Pesaresi: min. 50% (sub Focara)
 - San Gines: 00-50%

Umbria :
 - Colli del Trasimeno: 00-30%
 - Lake Corby: 00-30%
 - Red Orvietano: min. 70% (Red), 85-100% with mention of the vine

Lazio :
 - Atina: 10% (Red), 85-100% with mention of the vine

Abruzzo :
 - Controguerra: 85-100% with mention of the vine

Sardinia :
 - Alghero: 85-100% with mention of the vine

 

 

Synonyms


Aceria, Acheria, Arrouya, Bordo, Bouchet, Bouchy (Gascony), Breton, Burdeas Tinto, Cabernet, Cabernet Aunis, Cabernet Franco, Capbreton Rouge, Carmenet (Médoc), Fer Servandou, Gamput, Grosse Vidure, Hartling, Kaberne Fran, Messanges Rouge, Morenoa, Noir Dur, Petit Fer, Petit Viodure, Petite Vidure, Petite Vignedure, Plant Breton, Plant Des Sables, Trouchet Noir, Véron, Véron Bouchy, Véronais and Cabernet Gris

 

 


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