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Ehrenfelser grapes

by | Dec 27, 2016

Ehrenfelser is a famous variety of white wine grape which owes its main origin to Germany.


This variety of white wine grape is not an original grape variety, but is a cross created by Dr. Heinrich Birk at the Geinsenheim Grape Breeding Institute in the year 1929 where this variety was developed by crossing Silvaner and Riesling.

The identification of Silvaner performed in this cross is however still uncertain and has not been thoroughly established.

This variety of white wine grape is considered as one of the very important grape varieties that have been arisen from a very deliberate kind of modern varietal cross.

Ehrenfelser is considered as one of the primary grapes of Germany, which is used in the preparation of some of the most tasteful wines of the world. Apart from Germany, this grape variety today is also planted and found in the region of British Columbia.

This is because of the ability of this grape to grow well in the regions having a colder climate. The development of this white wine grape variety entertains with it a number of stories.

It is believed that this grape variety was developed in order to substitute all the Riesling grapes in the areas where this grape could not thrive because of its properties of shortness of the growing season.

However, this should always be noted that Ehrenfelser is not a replacement of Riesling but a merely substitute. The grapes produced by the vines of Ehrenfelser entertain Kabinett level of ripeness.

This variety of white wine grape is mainly grown in the region of Rheinhessen and Pfalz. Soon, it also began to develop in the areas of North America with a little plantation in the regions of Washington State.

Wine grape varieties

This grape variety has also been planted very successfully in the Okanagan Valley region of Canada. The popularity of this grape variety in the region of Canada is increasing day by day.

The vineyards of Cedar Creek, Gray Monk, Lake Breeze, Mount Boucherie as well as Quails’ Gate widely entertain the production of this grape variety.

As a result, not only the regular wines, but this white wine grape produces different kinds of ice wines as well that are very tasteful and flavoursome.

In its homeland Germany, this white wine grape variety is found and grown in the regions of Rheinhessen as well as the Palatinate. Unfortunately, the production of this grape in its homeland is decreasing gradually.

The reason is the experiments of new crossings performed by the experts in that particular region. In the year 2006, only 116 hectares of plantings of Ehrenfelser remained as compared to the 255 hectares of plantation in the year 1999.

This variety of white wine grape ripens earlier and produces higher yields if we compare it to one of its parents, Riesling. However, the quality of this grape is very inferior to that of Riesling.

This grape variety has derived its name from the ruins of Burg Ehrenfels that were located on the Rhine nearby Rudesheim. Ehrenfelser has further been crossed with Reichensteiner in order to create a different grape variety known as Ehrenbreitsteiner.

This variety of white wine grape is also known under the names like Geisenheim 9-93 and Ehrenfels respectively.

Origin of Ehrenfelser

This variety of white wine grape is said to be having a German origin.

However, some of the experts claim that this white wine grape variety originates from the vineyard of Gray Monk in the Okanagan Valley.

Ehrenfelser is harvested in the month of October and is cool fermented in order to remain the maximum amount of flavours in it.

Wines with Ehrenfelser grapes

Characteristics of Ehrenfelser

The wines produced out of this variety of white wine grape is very much fruit-driven and is comprised of various vibrant notes similar to that of honey and apricot.

You can also feel various hints of almonds along with a very subtle tangy level of acidity as you begin to sip these wines. A touch of sweetness in these wine highlights all its flavours. At the same time, the unique tannins result in the dry impression of the wines.

Food pairing with Ehrenfelser Wines

All the wines produced out of Ehrenfelser taste their best when paired with the spiced as well as light-spiced meals.

You can enjoy sipping the wines produced out of this white wine grape with the food items such as pasta, salads, onion Tarte Tatin, potato dauphinoise and many more.

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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