German Food Guide
German Food Guide
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Dornfelder Grape
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The Dornfelder is the most successful German-bred red grape. It was first bred in 1955 by August Herold at the Weinsberg Wine School, when he crossed the Helfensteiner grape (a cross between the Frühburgunder and Trollinger) and the Heroldrebe grape (a cross between the Portugieser and the Lemberger). The grape was named after the founder of the Wine School, Imanuel Dornfeld.

About 20,262 acres (8,200 hectares) of the German wine regions are covered with Dornfelder vines. This accounts for 8% of the total surface used by German vineyards. Although the Dornfelder is grown in most of the German wine regions, the majority of this grape is produced in the Rheinhessen and Pfalz regions, each region dedicating over 7,400 acres (3,000 hectares) to the Dornfelder.

Dornfelder produce dry to medium-dry, dark red wines. There are two types of Dornfelder wines: (1) Wines with a fruity aroma - with hints of cherry, boysenberry, and elderberry fragrances. These wines are marketed young to maintain their fruitiness;  (2) Wines that are ripened in wooden barrels to bring out the tannin and structure of the wines and to minimize the fruitiness. Regardless of which type, the Dornfelder wine is mildly acidic, full of body, soft, harmonious, and satisfying.

Dornfelder wines are ideal for the colder months. They go well with roasts, game, and cheese.


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