The variety of Blue Franconian is widely spread in two wine-growing regions (Podravje, Posavje) and in five wine-growing districts (Štajerska Slovenija, Prekmurje, Bizeljsko-Sremiška, Dolenjska and Bela krajina). It is a variety that can deliver high-quality wine and is the leader in quality among red varieties in all listed districts.
At present, there are 2,759,316 vines of Blue Franconian planted in Slovenia on almost 700 hectares of wine-growing areas. This represents 4.68 % of all vines in Slovenia. (Source: Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment)
Blue Franconian is recognisable for its rich fruit aroma that resembles berry flavours.
The wine is usually bluish-red in colour, whereby it depends on the production technology. Especially young wine has a distinct fruit flavour, while with age, it acquires the velvet and complexity of the flavour. The wine usually has mean tannin values and proper acidity.
Blue Franconian vine
The Blue Franconian vines are recognisable by large rounded leaves, which are not excessively carved. The upper green side becomes reddish in autumn. The grape is large and cylindrical, while individual grapes are dark blue and have a thick skin. The meat is juicy, sweet and somewhat bitter.
Experts from the Julius Kühne Institute in the German Geilweilerhof found that the Blue Franconian is more than just an autochthonous Slovenian variety. It also originates from Slovenia.
(Curing) properties of Blue Franconian
The Blue Franconian is characterised by a high content of antioxidants, especially resveratrol which lowers the overall level of cholesterol in the blood. Moreover, it increases the beneficial high lipoprotein density (HDL) that protects the heart. At the same time, it also prevents cancer; therefore, moderate consumption of Blue Franconian is particularly recommended.
Insights into history
The first mention of the Blue Franconian dates back to the year 1862, when the vine was presented in the framework of the winemaking exhibition in Vienna, but the variety is much older. The word is derived from the word Franconia, which was one of the most famous German wine-growing districts in the Middle Ages. Wine from this region was highly valued at that time, and the grapes that were of high quality were then named Frankish to distinguish it from the lesser-known Hun grapes. Despite the close connection between the vines and the aforementioned region, researchers assume that the vine originates from Dalmatia, current Slovenia, southern Austria and Hungary.
In the literature, the variety is referred to as: modra frankinja, frankinja crna, moravka, Blaufränkisch, frankovka, Lemberger, Blue franconian.