Blaufränkisch is a black grape from Austria with its major plantings in Hungary, where it is known as Kékfrankos.

Characteristics
Blau­fränkish is a ver­sa­tile grape that eas­i­ly re­flects the ter­roir of its growth place.

So, de­pend­ing on from where the wine you have in front of you comes, you might find a light, fresh and fruity, a me­di­um-bodied with black-fruit fla­vours or a full-bodied, spicy and oaked wine.

Blaufränkish is also used to produce rosé. Thanks to high acidity and tannin levels it can also age very well.

Wines
In Hungary, Blaufränkish is considered to be one of the best varieties for making reds. Here you will find wines with high acidity, good tannin structure and flavours of forest berries, maybe together with a bit of spicy character.

Look especially for wines from Szekszárd, a city in southern region of Dél-Dunántúl (South Transdanubia) in south-western Hungary.

In Austria, you can expect to find the full range, from light to full-bodied. There are several areas who are renowned for their Blaufränkisch wines, such as Neusiedlersee, Eisenberg, or Leithaberg, all situated in the region Burgenland.

Food pairing
A light and fresh Blaufränkisch varietal wine will be nice with with a white meat dish, for example chicken. Serve the wine at 12-14°C/54-57°F.

A full-bodied and oaked varietal will pair nicely with a red meat dish, and is best served at 16-18°C/61-64°F.

Where is it grown?
Bluefränkisch is planted on 17.888 ha/44,202 ac world-wide, which makes it the forty-third most planted grape in the world.

  • Hungary: 7.998 ha/19,763 ac, MPG rank 1, most planted areas are in the regions Kunsag, Sopron, and Eger
  • Austria: 3.228 ha/7,977 ac, MPG rank 14, ninety-five percent of the plantings are in the region Burgenland
  • Germany: 1.747 ha/4,317 ac. MPG rank 14, the region of Würtemberg holds ninety-four percent of the planted area
  • Slovakia: 1.378 ha/3,405 ac. MPG rank 3, the grape is found in all regions and Juzneslovenska holds most plantings
  • Czech Republic: 1.160 ha/2,866 ac. MPG rank 5, almost all plantings are found in the region Morava
  • Romania: 760 ha/1,878 ac. MPG rank 18, with most plantings in the region Sud-Muntenia
  • Slovenia: 680 ha/1,680 ac. MPG rank 11, with most plantings in the region Posavje-Dolenjska
  • Croatia: 558 ha/1,379 ac. MPG rank 11, with the regions Slavonija, and Podunavlje having the most planted area
  • Peru: 290 ha/717 ac. MPG rank 5, with most plantings in the capital region, Lima

Blaufränkish can also be found in Italy (Udine), USA (Washington State), Canada (British Columbia), and in Switzerland (several regions). These plantings are however small or very small.

History
The exact origin of Bluefränkisch is unknown. It is however likely that it is not from Franken in Germany, which would seem logical, given its name.

Instead it is thought to have originated somewhere in the area of central western Croatia (Dalmatia), Austria or Hungary.

One of its parents is said to be Heunisch Weiss (Gouais Blanc), the other one so far remains a mystery.