German Red Dornfelder Wine Now Has Varietal Status

on 08/11/10 at 12:40 pm


Dornefelder grapes

The Dornfelder grape originated in Germany. It was bred in the mid-1950’s from two other hybrids, Helfensteiner and Heroldrebe, one of which comes from Pinot noir. Dornfelder is the second most grown red grape in Germany after the Spätburgunder, the German name for Pinot Noir.

BATF Grants Dornfelder Varietal Status

Recent rulings by the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) have allowed Dornfelder to be specified as a varietal wine. Given its relatively obscure history as a red grape meant for lending body to lighter wines, the fact that it is now being explored as a varietal speaks volumes to its characteristics. In fact, over 10,000 acres have been planted with Dornfelder in its native Germany, up from only 250 acres in 1970.

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