The subject of today’s Who’s Your Daddy post is a grape that I’ve never heard of before. As you are probably well aware, there are only really a handful of grape varieties that make up the vast majority of wines that are sold in stores, whereas in reality, there are hundreds of different varieties that have been and currently are made into wines all over the globe.
As a reminder, diversity is important not only for a little variety in your life, but more importantly for the overall health and sustainability of the wine industry as a whole, particularly in this time of climate change. Here is just one example of that diversity:
Without further ado, the focus of this “Who’s Your Daddy?” post is the Kerner grape variety (Vitis vinifera).
The origins of Kerner are not too hard to find, considering its creation was relatively well documented compared to many other thousands of wine grapes whose origins are unknown.
Kerner, a white wine grape, was created in the greenhouse in 1929 by August Herold in Lauffen, Württemberg, Germany. The name “Kerner” was assigned to the grape in honor of a German physician and poet named Justinus Kerner. This particular poet was selected due to his works on wine (and if I can ever get my hands on some of this I’ll update this post at that time!).
The plant stayed in the laboratory/greenhouse setting for quite some time, but by 1969 was granted vartietal protection and given approval for commercial production. Finally, in 1993, it was given DOC status by the Italian Demoninazion di Origine Controllata.
Most of the plantings of Kerner are currently all over Germany, with greater concentrations planted in the Pfalz and Rheinhessen regions. The acreage of Kerner is somewhat uncertain; with some sites referencing 8,000 hectares while others referencing only 3,700 hectares. I’m not certain of the date published, but probably the figure I would trust most would be from the Wines of Germany website itself, which states that there are currently about 3,500 hectares of Kerner planted in Germany. In addition to Germany, Kerner is also found in Italy, Austria, Switzerland, England, and Japan …