fbpx Skip to content

Six New York Cab Francs to Liven up Your Festive Gatherings

closeup glasses of red wine

Are you looking for the perfect wine to serve at your holiday party? You might want to consider Cabernet Franc. If you are already a fan of this red grape variety, you know that it produces wines that are typically medium-bodied with moderate tannins and acidity, making them versatile and food-friendly. They complement a variety of flavors and textures so you can pair them with every course, from apps and cheeses to a carefully curated holiday feast loaded with roasted meats. Cabernet Franc wines are also great for sipping on their own, so whether you’re sneaking a sip waiting for guests to arrive, or binge-watching holiday movies after dinner, Cabernet Franc is the perfect bottle to grab.

Cabernet Franc is one of the oldest varietals in the world and while it spawned the more famous Cabernet Sauvignon (it is one of the parents), Cab Franc is very adaptable to different climates and soils, which means it can produce a wide range of styles and expressions depending on where it is grown. Some of the traditional growing regions for Cabernet Franc are in France (notably the Loire Valley where Chinon reigns supreme, and in Bordeaux where it is used in some of the world’s most high-valued blends), and in northeast Italy, where it thrives in Friuli.

Arguably, some of the best single varietal bottles are emerging from none other than New York State. Each region of the state has its own unique personality and flavor profile that makes its Cab Franc wines stand out from the crowd. The Cabernet Franc wines from the Hudson Valley, where it is the region’s signature red grape, are medium-bodied, with vibrant aromas and flavors of red fruits, ripe berries and spice, and sometimes a hint of smoke or graphite. The region’s cool-climate terroir produces wines with structured tannins that can create age-worthy bottles that emerge full-bodied and deeply rubied with dark plum, blackberry, and tobacco notes. Cab Franc grapes grown on Long Island typically spend more time on the vine, ripening a bit later to yield softer, spicier wines with round tannins.

So if you’re looking for a wine to impress your guests this season and beyond, read on for our top picks from two regions in New York State that will please a crowd—from first sip to last bite of dessert. Your guests will be glad you did!

Benmarl Winery

Hudson River Region Cabernet Franc
Estate Grown 2019

A smooth, easy-drinking wine from the Hudson Valley with earthy aromas, vibrant fresh berry fruit flavors, a pop of black pepper on the finish, and just the right amount of tannin to make this a versatile crowd-pleaser. Available at the winery or local wine shops. $40

Rosina’s Winery

Estate Cabernet Franc 2020

Decant this velvety wine before dinner to savor its rich, dark cherry and plum flavors that swirl around the palate with a delicate graphite aroma. A gold medal winner at the 2023 Hudson Valley Wine Competition and the New York International Wine Competition. Find it at area wine shops or ship it to select states. $32

Pindar Vineyards

Cabernet Franc 2019

From the North Fork of Long Island, this deep-colored sipper is smooth and balanced with flavors of stewed stone fruits and a hint of chocolate rounded out with subtle cedar and cigar box notes. Shop online or find it in stock at the winery. $24.99

Milea Estate Vineyard

Sang’s Estate Vineyard Cabernet Franc 2021

Silky and round with delicate aromas and concentrated flavors of fresh berries and herbs, hints of violet and nuances of graphite, this decadent bottle (awarded 91 points at the NY Wine Classic!) deserves a seat at the table now or cellar it for years to come. $45, currently limited to wine club members.

Pindar Vineyards

Cabernet Franc Port 2015

Pindar takes the versatility of Cabernet Franc to the next level by aging select grapes in small oak barrels for two years to create a satiny wine with warming aromas and rich flavors of raisins, stewed stone fruits, and ripe plums. A balanced, not overly sweet Port that can be slightly chilled to complement your cheese board or wow with dessert. Available at the winery or online. $18.99 (375 ml)

Indian Ladder Farm


Get the party started with a little sparkle! This lively cider-wine (or vinous cider) celebrates two terroirs—it is made by adding wild-fermented locally-grown cider fruit (like Roxbury Russet, Golden Russet, Northern Spy, Macoun, Empire and Yellow Crabapples) to crushed and pressed Cabernet Franc wine grapes from the North Fork of Long Island. Enjoy lightly chilled. $27 (750ml)


Interested in learning more about the Hudson Valley’s signature grape? Click here.

advertisement for Hudson Valley Helicopter Tours, by Independent Helicopters.