German ‘cold-climate’ cultivars have been growing in our vineyard since its establishment in 2011. These varieties can be difficult to find in the US market, aside from the well known German Riesling, but are growing strong right here in our home vineyard.
We are excited to offer these estate wines.
Kerner is a ‘modern’ German grape produced from a cross between Riesling and an older varietal known as Trollinger. It is hardier than Riesling and more forgiving of less favorable soils. Wines from our Estate grown Kerner are fruit-forward with hints of lemongrass, apple, pear, and grapefruit. . Notes of Apricot, Raisin, and Honey can also be present, depending on the vintage. Kerner wines are typically milder in acidity and fuller-bodied than Riesling.
Dornfelder is also a ‘modern’ German grape, produced from a crossing of Helfensteiner and Heroldrebe, and is the second most grown red wine grape in Germany, behind Pinot Noir. The vine is quite vigorous and easier to grow than the more sensitive Pinot Noir. Wines from our estate grown Dornfelder are velvety textured with flavors of plum, blackberry, and cherry, with a touch of oak. Occasionally a Green Paprika note can also be detected.
Blaufränkisch is an older varietal that has been grown on the European continent for hundreds of years. It is also a grandparent of our other estate red, Dornfelder. The grape is a cross between Gouais Blanc, a very old varietal that was originally introduced to France by Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius in the third century, and another antique grape called Blaue Zimmettraube. Wines from our estate grown Blaufränkisch have notes of cherry, blackberry, and plum with a touch of oak and pepper.
Traminette is a modern cross between the hybrid Joannes Seyve 23.416 and the German grape Gewürztraminer. The vine exhibits the hardiness of its french/american parent, while the grape shows a strong flavor profile of the German parent. Traminette, like Gewürztraminer, has a floral bouquet, rather than a fruity bouquet, such as Riesling. Wines made from Traminette exhibit notes of rose petals and passion fruit, but require special handling in the winery to bring out the best of these characteristics.
Our winery also partners with other growers around Ohio and in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, area to bring additional, uncommon german ‘cold-climate’ varietals and wine styles to the Ohio market.
Müller-Thurgau is a cross of Riesling and Madeleine Royale. It is Germany’s second most planted grape next to Riesling, and a Frankish staple of the wine cellar. The vine is more forgiving of less than favorable soils and the grape matures earlier than Riesling, however, it is less cold-hardy. Therefore, we have partnered with a biodynamic certified vineyard in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, to bring this highly popular and hard to find German grape to the Ohio market. Wines made from Müller-Thurgau can be made dry or off-dry, and demonstrate fruity Apple and Citrus notes with hints of Elderflower, while acidity is generally milder than Riesling.
Rotling is not a grape, but rather a style of wine. Literally meaning “little red,” this German pink is actually not a Rosé. Unlike a Rosé, which is typically made by fermenting a red grape with little to no skin contact, a Rotling is made by crushing a white grape along with a small portion of a red, and then fermenting them both together at the same time, following a white wine production method. The result is a wine with a pink blush, but with the characteristics of the white grape, rather than a red. Although this style is no longer unique to the Frankish area of Germany, Franconia remains a major producer of Rotling in Germany, and this wine style is uncommon in the United States. Our Rotling is produced from a common fermentation of Müller-Thurgau and either a cold macerated Pinot Noir or Blaufränkisch, depending on supply and harvest timing.
Spätburgunder is Germany’s most planted red grape. In America, it is known as Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is an extremely versatile grape and lends itself to many different wine styles, depending upon how it is grown and handled in the winery. Historically, German style Pinots have been lighter bodied and more fruit forward than Californian Pinots, for example. However, with modern techniques such as cold maceration and extended skin contact being adopted, these styles have been moving toward convergence in recent years. Our Pinot Noir, a notoriously difficult grape to grow, is sourced from partner growers in the Willamette Valley region of Orgeon, and is given extra hang-time before harvest to develop the ‘candied fruit’ and ‘jam’ notes that are so highly prized in today’s Pinots.