Cabernet Franc is often referred to as the soul of Ontario’s reds, and is the most planted red variety in the province. The grape itself is a black skinned French variety, with roots in both Bordeaux and the Loire. Typically, this grape was grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, however, in the cool-climate region of the Loire Valley, it is bottled as a single varietal. While its origins go back as far as the late 18th century it is now grown in most major wine regions. Cabernet Franc, known to be one of the parent grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon, does incredibly well in Ontario due to its early ripening and ability to survive harsher growing conditions.
Here in Ontario Cabernet Franc is often used in blends of red wine but can also be found as a stand-alone single variety wine or used in the production of Rosé and Icewine. Growers favor Cabernet Franc because it ripens about two weeks earlier than most other red wine grapes and fares better in Ontario’s unpredictable cool climate.
When used for red wine production Cabernet Franc typically has flavours of raspberry, chocolate, and spices such as pepper. Cooler vintages can often carry though more vegetal notes and bell pepper. These wines are often bright pale red in colour, medium to full bodied with moderate acidity and silky tannins.
Wines produced from this variety: