Last Updated on November 9, 2023.
Blaufränkisch Wine Profile
Originally hailing from what is currently Slovenia, Blaufränkisch is considered one of Austria’s signature red grape varieties alongside Zweigelt. It produces a lighter-bodied, spicy wine with bright acidity that is the perfect pairing for Austro-Hungarian dishes. It is a late-ripening grape that primarily thrives in cooler climates. Blaufrankisch simply means “Blue Frankish,” a reference to the blue-hued grapes and its noble grape heritage. (In German-speaking regions, grape vines were once delineated out between table grapes and ‘noble’ grapes for wine.)
Blaufränkisch Tasting Notes
Like so many other wine grapes, Blaufränkisch does go by many different aliases, including but not limited to Lemberger, Kekfrankos, and Gamé. No matter what it’s called, it produces medium-to-light bodied red wines with solid tannic structure and bold acidity. On the nose, expect red currant, black cherry and blackberry fruit notes intermixed with spicy cardamom, black pepper and earth. On the palate, its acidity brightens up the fruit and just begs for food. While it’s tasty on its own, Blaufränkisch tends to really shine with food.
For pairings, rely upon the old “If it grows together, it goes together” adage. Blaufränkisch is stellar with schnitzel, red cabbage, borscht, bratwurst and spaetzle. When produced as Bull’s Blood in Hungary, think more towards hearty goulash. Despite being more medium-bodied, it works well with winter fare because its acidity compliments richer sauces and its flavor enhances that of the food without overwhelming the palate.
Wine Growing Regions for Blaufränkisch
As its many aliases imply, Blaufränkisch is grown in many places throughout Europe and more recently, around the world. It’s best known for its growth in Austria, but can also be found in the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Italy. In the United States, it’s found in the Finger Lakes, Pennsylvania and on Long Island in New York State. It can also be found throughout California, Oregon and Washington. Here’s a quick reference chart that matches its aliases to where its grown:
Kékfrankos (part of Bull’s Blood, or Egri Bikavér)
Throughout the United States, it is usually known as Lemberger or Blaufrankisch (without the accent found over the second ‘a’).
Check out some of these Blaufränkisch wines from around the world:
- Moric Blaufränkisch, Burgenland, Austria
- Winzkeller Andau Blaufräkisch, Bugenland, Austria
- Evolúció Blaufränkisch, Burgenland, Austria
- Egri Bikaver (Bull’s Blood), Eger, Hungary
- Kiona Estate Bottled Lemberger, Red Mountain, Washington
- Johan Vineyards Blaufrankisch, Willamette Valley, Oregon
- Keuka Spring Vineyards Lemberger, Finger Lakes, New York
- Channing Daughters Blaufrankisch, Mudd West Vineyard, Long Island, New York
Image featuring Blaufrankish in the vineyard via Austrian Wine.
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Written By Jamie Metzgar
Jamie Elizabeth Metzgar began her career in wine by pouring in a tasting room on the East End of Long Island, NY. After moving to New York City, she landed a position at Chambers Street Wines where she was encouraged to pursue wine education at the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET). She earned Level III certification there and has since earned California Wine Appellation Specialist and Certified Specialist of Wine certifications as well. After way too many moves, she has recently landed in Northern California where she is compiling an unofficial roster of dog-friendly tasting rooms.
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Red currant, black cherry and blackberry fruit notes.
Earth & Additional Complexities
Spicy cardamom, black pepper and earth.
The Structure and Style of Blaufrankish Wines & Blends
Body Light - Medium
Alcohol Medium Plus
Tannins Medium Plus