Touriga Franca is a black grape from Portugal, where it is a highly-appreciated variety mostly in various blends.

Characteristics
For the wine farm­er, Tou­ri­ga Franca is a nice va­ri­e­ty. It is fair­ly easy to grow, it has quite a bit of tol­er­ance for dif­fer­ent cli­mates, and it gives good yields. Fla­vours are light, red ber­ries, flow­ery, some­times also with a touch of dark skinned ber­ries as well. The wines tend to be of a fair­ly light body.

Tra­di­tionally, Touriga Franca will not produce high quality varietal wines, but as a table wine it is more than sufficient. As is common in Portugal, it is however more often blended with Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (e.g. Tempranillo) than presented as a dry varietal wine. This blend is also one of the most common one’s when it is used for producing Port wine.

Wines
You will have to go to Douro to find a dry varietal Touriga Franca, and it might take you some time to actually find one. They do exist but are quite difficult to come by. A dry Touriga Franca, blended with Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz, and/or maybe another indigenous variety, is a lot easier to find. The best expressions you’re likely to find in Douro, although they can vary quite a lot in style and quality.

Food pairing
A dry Touriga Franca blend – as described above – will be a nice pairing with a pork or lamb dish. The wine is best served at 15°C/59°F17°C/63°F.

Where is it grown?
Touriga Franca is Portugal’s second most planted variety. It is reported to be planted on
11.582 ha/28,621 ac
(an increase of 74% in ten years). In spite of being number 2 in the MPG ranking, its PTPA is only 7%, meaning that there are several varieties (e.g. not only a few) which are commercially important in Portugal. Most plantings are in Douro in north-eastern Portugal.

Outside of Portugal there are reports of plantings from three countries, Romania, South Africa and Argentina. As they however share as little as 8 ha/19 ac between them, plantings are of experimental size.

History
Touriga Franca is recognised as being from north-eastern Portugal, most likely from the Douro wine region. It has been shown that it is a cross between Portugal’s national variety Touriga Nacional and Marufo.