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Blaufränkisch

Blaufränkisch is a dark-skinned grape variety used for red wine. A late-maturing variety, Blaufränkisch produces red wines that are typically rich in tannin and can have a distinct spicy character.

The grape is grown throughout central Europe, including Austria, the Czech Republic (especially southern Moravia, where it is known as frankovka), Germany, Slovakia (where it is known as frankovka modrá), Croatia, Serbia (frankovka), Slovenia (known as modra frankinja) and Italy (franc). In Hungary, the grape is called kékfrankos (also blue franc) and is grown in a number of wine regions, including Sopron, Villány, Szekszárd, and Eger (where it is a main ingredient in the famous red wine blend Egri Bikavér.) lit. Bull's Blood), which has largely replaced the Kadarka grape). It has been called "the Pinot Noir of the East" because of its prevalence and reputation in Eastern Europe. In America, the grape is also known as Lemberger, Blauer Limberger or Blue Limberger and is grown in Idaho, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington State, Michigan, New Jersey, Idaho, New York, Colorado, Ohio, Virginia and California.

DNA profiling has shown that Blaufränkisch is a cross between Gouais blanc (White Heunisch; male parent) and Blaue Zimmettraube (female parent; descendants of Blauer Gänsfüsser). Historical ampelographic sources have provided very solid evidence that the geographic area of origin of the variety is Lower Styria (now Slovenian Styria). For a long time before the application of DNA analysis, Blaufränkisch was mistakenly considered a clone of the Gamay grape variety in Bulgaria due to certain similarities in morphology and possibly due to its name Gamé.

The German name Lemberger derives from the fact that it was imported into Germany in the 19th century from Lemberg in Lower Styria in what is now Slovenia and then from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. An export of Lemberger vines to Germany in 1877 was recorded. The almost identical name Limberger refers to Limburg in Maissau in Lower Austria, where "ungrafted Limberg-Blaufränkisch vines" were offered for sale in the late 19th century.