The growing region lies on the northern edge of the state of Bavaria in Germany and is crossed by the Main river in a large W-shape. A special feature is that the Bavarian vineyards on Lake Constance around Lindau belong to the Württemberg growing region. The vineyards cover 6,130 hectares, most of which stretch between Aschaffenburg and Schweinfurt. All are planted on south-facing valley slopes on the banks of the Main River or in side valleys of its tributaries. It is an ancient wine-growing region, as evidenced by a deed of gift from 777 to the Fulda monastery, to which the royal estate of Hammelburg with eight vineyards (Schloss Saaleck with Schlossberg) was assigned. Emperor Charlemagne (742-814) documented a description of the area between Randersacker and Würzburg on 14 October 779.
The centre of Franconia, not only from a viticultural point of view, is the baroque city of Würzburg, where one of the most famous German single vineyards, the "Würzburger Stein", is located. A common saying in the Middle Ages was "Franconian wine is sick wine". The writer Kurt Tucholsky (1890-1935) found Franconian wine to be "deep and pure as the sound of a bell". The climate is continental with dry, warm summers and cold winters. Over 40% of the wines are bottled in Bocksbeutel. This bottle shape is legally protected for Franconian quality wines and a wine route is named after it. An important Franconian winegrowing pioneer was the vineyard owner Sebastian Englerth (1804-1880).
Franconia used to be divided into the three areas of Maindreieck, Mainviereck and Steigerwald with 23 large vineyards and 216 individual vineyards. In November 2011, the members of the Franconian Winegrowers' Association decided on a new arrangement. The three old areas will be replaced by 12 much smaller ones. These will also replace the 23 large vineyards in the medium to long term. The old areas once played a role in the predominant marketing of Franconian table wine, but they had lost that role some time ago. The 12 new areas correspond mutatis mutandis to the PDO (protected designation of origin) wine designation that has been valid since 2009:
Abbot Degen Wine Valley
The area named after Alberich Degen (1625-1686), the abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Ebrach, is located between Haßfurt and Bamberg in the north-east of the Steigerwald and on the southern edge of the Haßberge. The vineyards cover 115 hectares of vines. The municipalities with their individual vineyards:
Alzenau wine region
The area comprises the vineyards of the town of Aschaffenburg incl. OT Damm and OT Obernau, the town of Alzenau incl. OT Hörstein, OT Wasserlos, OT Michelbach and OT Dörsthofe, the market town of Hösbach incl. OT Rottenberg. The vineyards cover 90 hectares of vineyards. The municipalities with their individual vineyards:
The area stretches along the Main River, from Großostheim in the north to Weilbach in the south, and from Großostheim in the west to Dorfprozelten in the east. The vineyards cover 255 hectares of vines. The municipalities with their individual vineyards:
The area of Frankens Saalestück stretches along the Franconian Saale with the town of Hammelburg and its districts at its centre. It extends from Obererthal (north) to Hammelburg (south) and from Obereschenbach (west) to Ramsthal (east). The vineyards cover 155 hectares. The municipalities with their individual vineyards:
The area extends from Marktheidenfeld in the north to Neubrunn, OT Böttigheim, in the south and from Kreuzwertheim in the west to Uettingen in the east. The vineyards cover 125 hectares of vines. The municipalities with their individual vineyards:
The area can be described as a triangle with the corner points Würzburg, Frickenhausen am Main and Mainstockheim. It also includes the areas along the Tauber river. The vineyards cover over 1,300 hectares of vines. The municipalities with their individual vineyards:
Middle Franconian Bocksbeutel Road
The area stretches from Rothenburg ob der Tauber in the south to Neundorf in the north and from Tauberzell in the west to Dietersheim in the east. The vineyards cover over 200 hectares of vines. The municipalities with their individual vineyards:
The area stretches along the Main River from Gemünden am Main in the north to Veitshöchheim in the south, reaching its westernmost extent near Greußenheim and its easternmost extent near Arnstein. The vineyards cover 760 hectares. The municipalities with their individual vineyards: