Hungary: A New Home for Cabernet Franc

When we talk about grape varieties, we usually separate the ‘international’ grape varieties ( think Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, etc.) from the local, autochthonous ones (like Furmint, Hárslevelű, and Kékfrankos in Hungary). However, some grape varieties, like Cabernet Franc, are harder to categorize.

Cabernet Franc is a grape variety that originated in France in the 17th century and has spread around the world since then. While it can be found in lots of wine regions, it is usually blended with other grape varieties (usually Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) due to its slightly harsh, vegetal style. 100% pure Cabernet Franc wines are only produced in a few wine regions around the world – and Hungary is one of the very few countries with plenty of these wines.

Most Cabernet Franc wines are produced in the south of Hungary. In the region of Villány, the grape variety has become so popular that it’s now completely seen as a local grape with its own local style, and many winemakers label their wine ‘Villányi Franc’ (Franc from Villány). There is also plenty of Cabernet Franc found in the warm regions of Szekszárd, South Balaton, and even in the north in Eger and Sopron.

Hungarian Cab Franc is generally full-bodied and juicy, with a round, smooth style and flavors of black pepper, cocoa and coffee. It’s an ideal dinner wine, pairing well with rich dishes like stews, roasts, red meat and much more. Check out all our Cabernet Franc wines here.