Let’s talk about Virginia Cabernet Franc…

Friday, December 4 is International Cabernet Franc Day!

I’m not sure how these days actually get designated but it seems as good a reason as any to open a bottle of Cab Franc and chat with friends. (‘Share Your First Growths with Frank’ day coming soon.)

Cabernet Franc may be best known as the signature red grape of the Loire Valley and a blending grape used in Bordeaux to add floral and spice notes to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot but, it’s also one of the most important grapes in Virginia and other smaller regions.

In 1990, the late Dennis Horton, who founded Horton Vineyards, planted his first Cabernet Franc vines in his vineyard in Orange County.  Two years later, Horton and winemaker Allan Kinne, bottled the first Virginia Cabernet Franc for commercial sale.

Today, Cab Franc is thriving in vineyards throughout Virginia and is the second most planted grape variety in the state. 

To celebrate International Cabernet Franc Day, I asked a few friends to grab a bottle of Virginia Cab Franc and join me for a chat on Friday evening.

I’ll be joined by local winemakers Kirsty Harmon (Blenheim Vineyards) and Stephen Barnard (Keswick Vineyards), wine enthusiasts and wine writers Paul Armstrong and Warren Richard, authors of Virginia Wine Time, Kathy Lang Widemann, and local wine enthusiasts like you!

We’ll talk about the origins of Cabernet Franc in Virginia, it’s many expressions, why it’s thriving here and share our favorites.

Open a bottle (or two, or three) of your favorite Virginia Cabernet Franc and join the conversation at 7pm (for 45 minutes).

Register to watch/participate in the live video discussion here:

Following are just a few of my favorite Virginia Cabernet Francs available for purchase today (shipping or for pickup at the winery):

  • Keswick Vineyards 2019 Cab Franc. Order here.
  • Blenheim Vineyards 2019 Cabernet Franc:  Order here.
  • Afton Mountain Vineyards 2017 Cabernet Franc: Order here.
  • King Family Vineyards 2019 Cabernet Franc:  Order here.
  • Barboursville Vineyards 2017 Cabernet Franc Reserve.  Order here.
  • Early Mountain Vineyards 2019 Shenandoah Spring Cabernet Franc. Order here.
  • Early Mountain Vineyards 2019 Madison County Cabernet Franc. Order here.
  • Bluestone Vineyard 2017 Cabernet Franc. Order here.
  • Chatham Vineyards 2018 Cabernet Franc. Order here.
  • Casanel Vineyards 2018 Cabernet Franc. Order here.
  • Cardinal Point Winery 2017 Clay Hill Cabernet Franc. Order here.
  • Breaux Vineyards 2017 Marquis de Lafayette. Order here.
  • The Williamsburg Winery 2017 Virginia Cabernet Franc. Order here.
  • Narmada Winery 2016 Cabernet Franc. Order here.
  • Casanel Vineyards 2018 Cabernet Franc. Order here.
  • Cave Ridge Vineyard 2015 & 2017 Red Silk Cabernet Franc. Order here.
  • Granite Heights Winery 2016 Cabernet Franc. Order here.

Also check your local retailers for Virginia Cabernet Franc.

If your winery offers a Cabernet Franc for sale, please email the link and I will update this list.