Red variety - Dornfelder
- General: The success story of Dornfelder began in 1955 in Württemberg at the State Teaching and Research Institute in Weinsberg. August Herold, bred "the" German red wine from the Helfensteiner and Heroldrebe varieties. The variety was dedicated to Immanuel Dornfeld. As the spiritual father, he gave decisive impulses to the oldest German fruit and wine-growing school between 1910 and 1920. Initially intended as a cover red wine to be blended with grape varieties of weaker colour, the variety very quickly gained importance and renown as a mature, popular red wine type in Germany as an independent variety. In the 1970s, there were only about 100 ha in Germany, but now Dornfelder is found as a climate-resistant, yield-safe and maturing variety on almost 8% of the German cultivated area (8,300 ha) in all wine-growing regions of the country.
- Cluster: The variety has typically very large, long, shouldered grapes, which, however, almost always remain loose-berried. The round to slightly oval berries are medium to large. The thick berry skin turns blue-grey to deep dark and is scented.
- Wine: Fruity, deep dark to blue-red and, depending on ripeness and ageing, delicate to striking with aromas of sour cherry, blackberry and elderberry - this is how Dornfelder wines present themselves, which can benefit from both mash heating and fermentation on the grape skin followed by ageing in wooden barrels.
- Cultivation: Dornfelder is drought-sensitive and therefore prefers deep, well-watered sites. Due to its very strong growth, the variety is sensitive to wind breakage. Due to the large leaves and low stinginess, defoliation should be carried out with care. The ripening time is rated as medium. Due to the loosened grapes and thick berry skin, the variety is relatively robust against Botrytis. However, good plant care should be taken against Oidium.