The traditional Franconian grape variety Silvaner was first mentioned in a document in the middle of the 17th century in the village of Obereisenheim. Approximately 20% of all the Franconian vineyards are planted with Silvaner. Silvaner wines are of a discreet fruity aroma, resembling of gooseberry, green apple, hay and mint.
Due to its only slight fruitiness, you can distinguish the influences of the soil better than with any other grape variety. Silvaner wines are perfect companions to many kinds of meals, especially to only slightly spiced dishes, for example asparagus and fish. Higher qualities as Spätlese (late vintage) or Auslese can easily be stored for years.
Müller-Thurgau is the most planted grape variety in Franconia. It is a cross-breeding of Riesling and Gutedel dating back to the end of the 19th century. A synonym is Rivaner. These wines should be consumed when they are young. The fresh fruity and spicy aromas are then particularly intense. These aromas and the mild acidity make a Müller-Thurgau wine to an ideal and uncomplicated summer-wine.
The number three grape variety in Franconia is a cross-breeding of (Silvaner x Riesling) x Müller-Thurgau. The wines are very aromatic with clear aromas of exotic fruits like citrus and pineapple and are often filled in a half-dry style. Especially those half-dry Bacchus wines go well with Asian food. Since these intense aromas and the fruity flavours will fade during the storing, Bacchus wines are best when they are consumed in their youth.
Riesling is considered as the best German grape variety at all. It is cultivated for at least 500 years. Riesling is a very late ripening variety with a higher level of acidity. Compared to other German wine-growing regions, Franconia has a bigger influence of the continental climate with hot summers but winters that begin a little bit earlier. So Riesling vines can only be planted in the very best sites to give them the opportunity to reach the perfect ripeness. Then a Riesling shows its potential of delicate aromas resembling of peach, apricot and passion fruit together with a racy acidity.
Grauer Burgunder / Pinot Gris
This variety is a very old one and belongs to the big Pinot family. The wines are full-bodied with delicate flavours of gooseberry and melon and show a well-balanced acidity. The smell often reveals some aromas resembling of nuts. Grauer Burgunder goes well with appetizers and especially seafood. A German synonym for Grauer Burgunder is Ruländer. You normally find this term when the wine is filled in a sweet or noble-sweet style. Grauer Burgunder is very suitable to make dry Spätlese wines (late vintage). They are especially powerful with a very long-lasting taste and can easily be combined to dishes that are normally accompanied by red wines.
Weißer Burgunder / Pinot Blanc
Another member of the Pinot family that resembles a Chardonnay, showing aromas of apples, pears and almonds. The acidity is normally slightly higher compared to Grauer Burgunder, which results in a longer storing ability.
Good combinations for this variety are dishes of fish, chicken and vegetables.
The most popular Franconian red grape variety is a cross-breed of Portugieser x Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder). Domina wines show a dark red colour and intense aromas of dark cherries and blackberries. A pleasant amount of tannins combines with fruity flavours to round and full-bodied red wines. Beef, game and roast but also pasta are good meals to drink a Domina wine with.
Spätburgunder / Pinot Noir
This is another member of the big burgundy grape family. The wines are of a ruby red colour with nice fruity aromas and hints reminiscent of almonds and nuts. Powerful but fine character. A good companion to cheese, game, roast and also to plain chocolate.
Dornfelder has become one of the most popular red grape varieties in Germany in the last ten years. It is a cross-breed of Helfensteiner x Heroldrebe that shows a very intense deep red colour. Flavours of blackberries and sloes and pleasant tannins lead to smooth and powerful wines. Good matches for Dornfelder are meals of game and dark meat.
Schwarzriesling / Pinot Meunier
This is also a very old variety of the burgundy grape family with a long tradition in German viticulture. Wines out of this variety are of a ruby red colour with intense fruity aromas of red berries. The amount of tannins is quite low which makes these wines suitable to combine with pizza and pasta, chicken and many not too heavy meals. You can even try a Schwarzriesling wine together with fish.
Cross-breed of (Silvaner x Müller-Thurgau) x Chambourcin. Regent is the most popular of the latest cross-breeds that are resistant to fungal diseases. The wines are of a very deep red colour. You will have aromas of plums and ripe cherries in the nose. Intense tannins and a powerful body result in a red wine style of an international character. Good to combine with cheese and game.