Before the reunification in Germany, Franken was the easternmost of Germany's wine-growing regions, with most of its vineyards planted on hilly slopes of the Main River and its tributaries.

Würzburg is the principal city of Franken and home of the famed vineyard, Stein, which gave rise to the generic term "Steinwein", formerly used to denote all Franken wines. Traditionally, most Franken wines are bottled in a squat, green flagon called a "Bocksbeutel".

Franken wine is the most masculine of Germany's wines, often drier and earthier than wines from other regions. Müller-Thurgau and Silvaner are the main varieties planted, as well as new crossings.