This grape is a new variety that was developed in 1955 by August Herold at the Staatlich Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt für Wein- und Obstbau (State Educational and Testing Institute for Viniculture and Pomiculture) in Weinsberg from a cross between the Helfensteiner and Heroldrebe grapes. Dornfelder has experienced a rapid distribution – predominantly in the Rhineland-Palatinate – over the last 20 years. It is a robust and tough grape that makes high demands on the ground and does not like to make do with sandy or stony locations. It should also not be grown in areas where there is a risk of frost. Its wine is dark red with clear touches of blue. Dornfelder is aged to produce a variety of styles: it may be enjoyed young with such intensive fruit aromas as morello cherry, blackberry and elderberry – but it may also be aged in wooden casks to enhance its tannins and structure to create pleasing red wines that are rich in content and suitable for storage.

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