Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varietals worldwide and our cultivar of the month at Ellerman House. This varietal is parent to the other two sauvignons: Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Although the grape is mainly used for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot to create a Bordeaux blend, it can also be found as a single variety in warmer climates such as Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. The cultivar is a favourite amongst boutique wineries and our Sommelier recommends Alluvia’s ‘Lisa’, Idiom ‘900 Series’ and Raats for exceptional Cabernet Fancs.


Cabernet Franc is often lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wine and contributing finesse and a peppery perfume to blend with more robust grapes. Depending on the region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, and cassis – and sometimes violets.


We recommend decanting Cabernet Franc and allow air to incorporate into the wine as it will tone down the cultivar’s natural spiciness and give it a richer palate. Cabernet Franc pairs beautifully with a variety of foods due to the lower tannins. Our Sommelier recommends pairing with dishes containing rich herbs and spices like roasted pork, pork belly, goats’ cheese, hamburgers and spices such as rosemary, sage, thyme and cracked black pepper.