The red grape variety comes from Portugal. Since 2002, the former name Touriga Francesca may no longer be used due to a lawsuit filed by the French wine lobby and a court order. Synonyms are Albino de Souza, Esgana Cão Tinto, Tinta Barca, Touriga Frances, Touriga Francesa and Tourigo Francês. It must not be confused with the other Touriga varieties or Tinta da Barca, despite the fact that synonyms and morphological similarities seem to indicate this. It is not a mutation of the white variety Sercial (Esgana Cão). According to DNA analyses carried out in 2011, it is a presumably natural cross between Marufo and Touriga Nacional. With the same parents the variety Tinta Barroca was created (which is based on only 12 DNA markers; see molecular genetics).
The medium to late-maturing, yield-stable vine is somewhat susceptible to botrytis, but generally resistant to many other vine diseases. It produces dark-coloured, fragrant red wines with fine tannins and a wide range of aromas of wild berries, wild flowers, violets and herbs. These are mainly used for blending. The variety is cultivated in the Douro area as the most common red variety here, but also Alentejo, Dão, Península de Setúbal, Ribatejo, Tejo and Trás-os-Montes. It is considered one of the best varieties for port wine.
In 2010, the Portuguese cultivated area amounted to 11,582 hectares. In South Africa, three hectares were designated. Other areas may also be cultivated in California and Australia, although it is not clear whether this is Touriga Franca and/or Touriga Nacional due to the use of the Touriga name. The variety occupied a total of 11,586 hectares of vineyards in 2010. This is almost double the area planted in 1990, when it was 6,674 hectares. It occupies 60th place in the worldwide grape variety ranking.
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012