Cabernet Franc Ripening earlier than the more famous Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc produces a comparatively lighter series of flavours than its more famous relative. Don't be deceived however, as Cab Franc can be responsible for some very powerful wines. The grape lends a soft, fruity influence on many Bordeaux blends - particularly on the Right Bank in regions such as St Emilion and Pomerol. Indeed, the legendary Chateau Cheval Blanc relies on a large proportion of it to achieve its distinctive flavour. Yet its spiritual home is in the Loire Valley, where it produces well-structured, fruity and soft reds. Outside France, the grape is planted widely, though in many instances it's confused with Cabernet Sauvignon. There are large crops in Tuscany - where it is often blended with Sangiovese in 'Super Tuscan' wines - as well as in the USA and Australia. Signature Style Red berry, cherries, often a vegetal quality Famous Examples Chateau Cheval Blanc, Baron de Variere Principal regions Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Tuscany Synonyms Bordo, Bouchet, Bouchy, Breton, Cabernet Aunis, Cabernet Franco Did you know? DNA evidence has proven that Cabernet Franc is the father of the more famous Cabernet Sauvignon, brought about by a crossing with Sauvignon Blanc. It is believed that the grape began its life in France in the 17th century thanks to famous statesman Cardinal Richelieu, who brought cuttings to the Loire Valley.