Dornfelder – The Second Most Common German Grape Variety
The Dornfelder grape variety is a relatively new cross from 1955 between the Heroldrebe (itself a cross of Blauer Portugieser and Lemberger) and Helfensteiner. Today it is one of the most popular German red wines. The Dornfelder grape variety was approved in 1980 and is now cultivated in almost all winegrowing regions in Germany. The largest production by far takes place in the Palatinate and Rhinehessen. The total area of vinyards growing Dornfelder in Germany is approximately 8 000 hectares. Following the Pinot Noir - also called ‘Spaetburgunder’ – it is the second most cultivated red grape variety.
Dornfelder Red Wine - Delicately Fruity to Distinctively Tangy
Due to their intense colour, Dornfelder grapes were originally used mainly to deepen the colour of cuvees made from other grape varieties. In the meanwhile, the quality of the Dornfelder has become such that it is increasingly used for the vinification of pure, varietal wines. Dornfelder wines can present themselves from delicately fruity to distinctively tangy depending upon the ripeness of the grape and the winemaking process employed. In general, they are deep red, high in tannins, mid-bodied, exhibit moderate acidity, and tickle the palate with notes of sour cherry. In short: Red wines made from Dornfelder grapes are tasty, have good maturation potential and are well-suited to barrique maturation.
Dornfelder wines are available in various qualities. Diverse awards prove that Dornfelder grapes not only produce unpretentious wines but also an increasing number of top wines.
Dornfelder Wine: Low-Maintenance – High Yield
The German wine grape Dornfelder is a low-maintenance and high-yield variety, which also ripens in more difficult climates. In order to ensure excellent wine quality, however, the yield must be limited by conscientiously pruning the Dornfelder vines.