Dornfelder wine grape

Dornfelder was bred in Germany in 1956 and only became an authorised variety in 1980.  Despite that late start it is now the second most planted black grape in Germany, after Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir).
Its success is down to its ability to produce properly dark red wine in places where most black grapes struggle.  It ripens early, and its thick skins resist the bunch rot prevalent in cool, damp climates.  Those thick skins are full of anthocyanins, and so are also responsible for its prized deep colour.
Its wine can be dark, rich and velvety, with good acidity and attractive floral notes.  However, it is very productive and its yields need to be controlled to produce concentrated, quality wines.  It has proved popular in other cool climates, like those of Switzerland, Canada and England.

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