Blaufränkisch is a dark-skinned variety of grape
A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

 used for red wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

. Blaufränkisch, which is a late-ripening variety gives red wines which are typically rich in tannin and may exhibit a pronounced spicy character. The grape is grown across Central Europe, including Austria
Austrian wine
Austrian wines are mostly dry white wines with some luscious dessert wines made around the Neusiedler See. About 30% of the wines are red, made from Blaufränkisch , Pinot Noir and locally bred varieties such as Zweigelt...

, Czech Republic
Czech wine
Wine in the Czech Republic is produced mainly in southern Moravia, although a few vineyards are located in Bohemia. However, Moravia accounts for around 96% of the country's vineyards, which is why Czech wine is more often referred to as Moravian wine ...

 (in particular southern Moravia
South Moravian Region
South Moravian Region is an administrative unit of the Czech Republic, located in the south-western part of its historical region of Moravia, with exception of Jobova Lhota, that belongs to Bohemia. Its capital is Brno the 2nd largest city of the Czech Republic. The region is famous for its wine...

 where it is known as Frankovka), Germany
German wine
German wine is primarily produced in the west of Germany, along the river Rhine and its tributaries, with the oldest plantations going back to the Roman era. Approximately 60 percent of the German wine production is situated in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where 6 of the 13 regions ...

 (where it is known as Lemberger, or Blauer Limberger), Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 (where it is known as "Frankovka modrá"), Croatia
Croatian wine
Croatian wine has a history dating back to the Ancient Greek settlers, and their wine production on the southern Dalmatian islands of Vis, Hvar and Korčula some 2,500 years ago. Like other old world wine producers, many traditional grape varieties still survive in Croatia, perfectly suited to...

 ("frankovka") and Slovenia
Slovenian wine
Slovenian wine is wine from the Central European country of Slovenia. Viticulture and winemaking has existed in this region since the time of the Celts and Illyrians tribes, long before the Romans would introduce winemaking to the lands of France, Spain and Germany...

 (known as "modra frankinja"). In Hungary the grape is called Kékfrankos (also lit. blue Frankish) and is grown in a number of wine regions including Sopron
In 1910 Sopron had 33,932 inhabitants . Religions: 64.1% Roman Catholic, 27.8% Lutheran, 6.6% Jewish, 1.2% Calvinist, 0.3% other. In 2001 the city had 56,125 inhabitants...

, Villány
Villány is a town in Baranya county, Hungary that is famous for its wine.-Etymology:The name derives from the Hungarian word for lightning, villám...

, Szekszárd
Szekszárd is a city in Hungary and the capital of Tolna county. By population, Szekszárd is the smallest county capital in Hungary; by area, it is the second smallest -Location:...

, and Eger
Eger is the second largest city in Northern Hungary, the county seat of Heves, east of the Mátra Mountains. Eger is best known for its castle, thermal baths, historic buildings , and red and white wines.- Name :...

 (where it is a major ingredient in the famous red wine blend known as Egri Bikavér
Egri Bikavér
Egri Bikavér is Hungary's most famous red wine. It comes from the Eger wine region of northern Hungary; the Szekszárd region produces a similar wine with similar name but with different character.-Blend:...

(lit. Bull's Blood) having largely replaced the Kadarka
Kadarka or Gamza is a dark-skinned variety of grape used for red wine. It has a long history and is popular in Hungary and Bulgaria, where it is known as гъмза Gamza. It used to be an important constituent of the Hungarian red cuvée Bull's Blood of Eger or Szekszárd, but has long been in decline in...

 grape). It has been called "the Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir
Pinot noir is a black wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes...

 of the East" because of its spread and reputation in Eastern Europe.

DNA profiling has shown that Blaufränkisch is a cross between Gouais blanc
Gouais Blanc
Gouais Blanc or Weißer Heunisch is a white grape variety that is seldom grown today but is important as the ancestor of many traditional French and German grape varieties. The name Gouais derives from the old French adjective ‘gou’, a term of derision befitting its traditional status as the grape...

 (Weißer Heunisch) and an unidentified Frankish variety. One of the candidates for the Frankish parent is Blauer Silvaner.

For a long time before the application of DNA analysis, Blaufränkisch was erroneously thought to be a clone
Cloning in biology is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually. Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments , cells , or...

 of the Gamay
Gamay is a purple-colored grape variety used to make red wines, most notably grown in Beaujolais and in the Loire Valley around Tours. Its full name is Gamay Noir à Jus Blanc. It is a very old cultivar, mentioned as long ago as the 15th century...

 grape variety, due to certain similarities in morphology
Morphology (biology)
In biology, morphology is a branch of bioscience dealing with the study of the form and structure of organisms and their specific structural features....

 and possibly due to its name Gamé in Bulgaria.

The German name Lemberger derives from the fact that it was imported to Germany in the 19th century from Lemberg
Lemberg pri Šmarju
Lemberg pri Šmarju is a settlement in the Šmarje pri Jelšah municipality in eastern Slovenia. It lies in the hills to the northeast of Šmarje. The area was traditionally part of Lower Styria. The municipality is now included in the Savinja statistical region....

 in Lower Styria in present-day Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 and then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A 1877 export of Lembergerreben to Germany has been recorded. The almost identical name Limberger refers to Limburg at Maissau
Maissau is a municipality in the district of Hollabrunn in Lower Austria, Austria....

 in Lower Austria
Lower Austria
Lower Austria is the northeasternmost state of the nine states in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria since 1986 is Sankt Pölten, the most recently designated capital town in Austria. The capital of Lower Austria had formerly been Vienna, even though Vienna is not officially part of Lower Austria...

, where in late 19th century "ungrafted Limberg Blaufränkisch vines" (wurzelechte Limberger Blaufränkisch-Reben) were offered for sale.

Washington State is one of the few major wine regions in North America to have significant plantings of Lemberger. Grapes of this Washington wine
Washington Wine
Washington wine is wine produced from grape varieties grown in the U.S. state of Washington. Washington ranks second in the United States in the production of wine, behind only California. By 2006, the state had over of vineyards, a harvest of of grapes, and exports going to over 40 countries...

 mostly grow in Yakima Valley, but also at the Olympic Peninsula. Small amounts of Lemberger are also grown in New York State, Colorado
Colorado wine
Colorado wine refers to wine made from grapes grown in the U.S. state of Colorado. Most the Colorado's vineyards are located on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains, though an increasing number of wineries are located along the Front Range....

, Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, and Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...


Blaufränkisch in Austria

It is possible that Blaufränkisch or a similar forerunner of the grape was cultivated in regions of present Austria (Lower Austria and Burgenland
Burgenland is the easternmost and least populous state or Land of Austria. It consists of two Statutarstädte and seven districts with in total 171 municipalities. It is 166 km long from north to south but much narrower from west to east...

) already in the 10th century. In his 1777 publication Beschreibung der in der Wiener Gegend gemeinen Weintrauben-Arten, ampelographer Sebastian Helbling counted the variety as one of the best red grape varieties of Lower Austria, and used the name Schwarze Fränkische for it.

In present-day Austria Blaufränkisch is the second most important red grape variety, and covers 5% of the vineyards. It is particularly common in Mittelburgenland, which is sometimes given the nickname "Blaufränkischland".

Blaufränkisch in Czech Republic

Blaufränkisch is the second most widely grown red grape variety in the Czech Republic. It is grown only in the Moravian wine subregions due to its late-ripening nature.

Blaufränkisch in Australia

The first and currently the only producer of Blaufränkisch in Australia is Hahndorf Hill Winery in the Adelaide Hills wine region of South Australia. The vines were planted approximately 20 years ago. Victorian producer, Mac Forbes, has recently planted Blaufränkisch in the Yarra Valley in 2010.

Blaufränkisch wines

Blaufränkisch wines have aromas of dark ripe cherries and dark berries, are spicy, have medium tannin levels and sometimes very good acidity. Young wines are deeply fruity and become more velvety, supple and complex with age.


Blaufränkisch has been used in numerous crossings to produce new grape varieties, a few being:
  • Acolon
    Acolon is a German wine grape variety. It is a crossing between Blauer Lemberger and Dornfelder.It was created in 1971 at the Staatliche Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt für Wein- und Obstbau in Weinsberg , Germany. The variety was officially recognised in 2002. It ripens early and produces a very...

     = Blaufränkisch x Dornfelder
    Dornfelder is a dark-skinned variety of grape of German origin used for red wine. It was created by August Herold at the grape breeding institute in Weinsberg in the Württemberg region in 1955. Herold crossed the grape varieties Helfensteiner and Heroldrebe, the latter which bears his name, to...

  • Blauburger
    Blauburger is a red wine grape variety that is grown a little in Austria and Hungary. It should not be confused with Blauburgunder, which is an Austrian synonym for Pinot Noir.-History:...

     and Heroldrebe
    Heroldrebe is a red German wine grape variety produced by crossing Blauer Portugieser and Lemberger. It was created by August Herold at the grape breeding institute in Weinsberg in the Württemberg region in 1929, and was named after him....

    , both being Blauer Portugieser
    Blauer Portugieser
    Blauer Portugieser is a red Austrian and German wine grape found primarily in the Rheinhessen, Pfalz and wine regions of Lower Austria. It is also one of the permitted grapes in the Hungarian wine Egri Bikavér . In Germany, the cultivated area covered or 4.5% of the total vineyard area in 2007...

     x Blaufränkisch
  • Zweigelt
    Zweigelt is a red wine grape variety developed in 1922, at the Federal Institute for Viticulture and Pomology at Klosterneuburg, Austria, by Fritz Zweigelt. It was a crossing of St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch. It is now the most widely-grown red grape variety in Austria, as well as having some...

     = St. Laurent
    St. Laurent (grape)
    St. Laurent is a highly aromatic dark-skinned wine grape variety of the same family as Pinot Noir, originating in France....

     x Blaufränkisch - Austria's most grown red variety.
  • André = Frankovka modrá x St. Laurent
    St. Laurent (grape)
    St. Laurent is a highly aromatic dark-skinned wine grape variety of the same family as Pinot Noir, originating in France....

    - grown in Czech Republic and Slovakia
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.