The Kerner grape is a white wine grape variety that was created by crossing Trollinger (also known as Schiava Grossa or Vernatsch) and Riesling. It was developed in 1929 by German scientist August Herold in the town of Weinsberg in the Württemberg region of Germany. The grape was named after the poet and physician Justinus Kerner.

History of Origin:

As mentioned, Kerner was bred in 1929, and it was officially recognized as a grape variety in 1969. The crossing aimed to combine the hardiness of Trollinger with the quality of Riesling. The grape quickly gained popularity due to its ability to thrive in cooler climates and produce wines with a good balance of acidity and flavor.

Region of Origin:

Kerner was initially cultivated in the Württemberg region, but it has spread to various wine regions globally. Germany remains a significant producer of Kerner, particularly in regions such as the Pfalz, Rheinhessen, and Baden.

Origin of Name:

The grape is named after the aforementioned Justinus Kerner, a 19th-century German poet and physician. Kerner is known for his works, including poems and travelogues.

Cultivation Regions:

Kerner is primarily grown in Germany, but it has also found success in other cool-climate regions around the world. Countries like Italy, Austria, Canada, and the United States have experimented with Kerner cultivation.

Characteristics of the Variety:

  • Vigorous Growth: Kerner vines are relatively hardy and vigorous, making them well-suited for cooler climates.
  • Adaptability: The grape is known for its adaptability to different soil types, though it tends to do well in well-drained soils.
  • Resistance: Kerner has good resistance to various diseases, which contributes to its popularity among growers.

Characteristics of the Wine:

  • Aromatics: Kerner wines are often aromatic, with floral notes that can include hints of elderflower and acacia.
  • Acidity: The variety retains the crisp acidity inherited from its Riesling parentage, making it refreshing and food-friendly.
  • Fruit Flavors: Common flavors in Kerner wines include citrus fruits, green apple, and peach, contributing to a well-balanced and fruity profile.
  • Alcohol Content: Kerner wines typically have a moderate to high alcohol content.

Overall, Kerner is valued for its versatility, producing wines that range from dry to off-dry, and even sweet styles. Its ability to retain acidity while showcasing fruity and floral characteristics makes it an appealing choice for both wine enthusiasts and winemakers in various regions.

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