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This grape variety designation dates from the early Middle Ages and does not designate a single variety, but a group. It is a designation of origin that supposedly goes back to the Franconian king Charlemagne (742-814). After the conquest of Gaul, the Franks brought the local "nobler" varieties from what is now France to Germany, where they were later called "Frankish". The first explicitly mentioned were Moreillon(Pinot) in 1283, Traminer (Savagnin Blanc) in 1349 and Riesling in 1435, as well as the old varieties Elbling, Orléans and Silvaner. Together with the Hunic varieties, the Franconian varieties belong to the most important gene pool of many of today's standard European vines.

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