Tasting Notes 


This classical style of Virginia Cabernet Franc is known for, and showcases its red fruits and hints of the herbs and ‘terroir’  associated with its siting in our vineyards. Virginia Franc can be quite aromatic, and with the right fermentation ‘art’ , it is as pleasing to the olfactory as it is to the palate.

Based on our winemaking protocol, the Cabernet Franc recalls the style of wines made in the Loire Valley region in France.  It is lighter, less tannic and less densely structured than it’s counterpart, the Cabernet Sauvignon.  The virtues are its nose of raisins, currants and fresh cut cedar.  The aromas are perfect for cooler weather and are the ideal pairing with oven roasted dishes.  The initial flavors are chocolate & coffee beans, roasted bell peppers & a touch of warm caramel.

This vintage’s Franc will be remembered as a soft, well-rounded Autumn wine that is totally embraceable and has a broad range of food pairings – from roasted vegetables to simple grilled meats.

You may notice that the flavors in our Cabernet franc are very spicy and very flavorful. Even in difficult vintages Cabernet franc can deliver a nice wine. That is the main reason we like Cabernet franc in Virginia. In a good vintage, on dry years, we get depth, power and longevity along with the spice in Cabernet franc. In our monsoonal vintages it is nice to get the spicy flavors and pleasing tannic profile that Cabernet franc can deliver. The color in the 2012 Cabernet franc was bolstered with the addition of some, maybe 10%, Chambourcin. This variety always delivers good color, since its juice is naturally, highly tinctured. It is also a very pleasant wine in and of itself.

Production Notes

bottling-cab-francAfter the initial crush, starting with a three-day cold soak, the destemmed fruit began it primary fermentation in bins, and was punched down three times daily. After pressing and racking, the wine’s malolactic fermentation was in a combination of new and aged French oak barrels.  It was aged for 10 months in barrel.

The winemaking protocol was for a very robust and medium-bodied wine with distinctive, classic fruit notes and 10-month aging — 20% of the time in new French oak barrels to impart the nuance, and 80% in older, neutral oak to mellow the effect .  It will age well, but is totally drinkable now.

Sip, Savor & Snack

We have a saying — nothing says Fall better than savoring a memorable glass of one of the great red varietals.  As we transition beyond the Summer season, Cabernet Franc is the wine to pursue. A graceful & memorable light red, our Cab Franc will be your seasonal favorite.

We designed our Cab Franc as a highly versatile red wine that will pair well with many of the dishes here at Pippin Hill Farm, as well as your Fall dishes in your kitchen.  Its nuanced flavors find synergy with food, rather than overshadowing.

Of course, nothing beats a five-star meal with a five-star view. We suggest pairing the Franc on TheHill  with our all time favorite, the Pippin sliders.  These savory sliders are made with house-ground beef from our adjoining Bundoran Farm, topped with a fresh slice of Virginia’s McClure Cheese and smothered with our very own smoky house ketchup. The wine will add flair to this gourmet burger that you’ve never experienced before.

Take a bottle home and pair it with your own pasta in red sauce, beef stew or fish.  Even better, visit us in September when we’ll be firing up our wood burning oven pizzas and dishing out Proscuitto, fig and fontina cheese pies – a perfect combo with this heartwarming red.

Whatever you decide, let our Cab Franc be the wine that helps you say goodbye to summer, and fall into Autumn.

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