Dornfelder cover picture, © DWI© DWI

Watch out, here I am!


The red wine winemakers are raising their glasses to Dornfelder. Dornfelder is a shooting star. In Rheinhessen it is the second most important grape variety with approximately 3.300 hectares.

Dornfelder tells the story of success. It is a rather young grape variety. Dornfelder was crossed in 1956, spent many years in the experimental fields of the breeders, and did not see the light of the wine world until the 1970s. August Herold in Weinsberg was the breeder. His aim was, to give the Sabian national drink, the Trollinger, a little rouge and make up, in order to give it a chance to look more serious. In the end, August Herold tied four classic grape varieties: Frühburgunder, Trollinger, Portugieser and Lemberger in a very complicated way - the skill of a gifted creator.
It is a robust, low-susceptible and productive grape variety.
This red wine even gives the die-hard Italian and French red wine drinkers the feeling of having chosen right with a German red. Dornfelder - that means "Watch out, here I come" wines, overflowing with colour and strength; powerful wines with substance.
Dornfelder ususally is a dry red wine. There are two different types of Dornfelder: one, that has intensive fruit flavours, such as sour cherry, blackberry and elderberry and that is drunk a a young age. And another one, that is aged in large or small oak barrels (barriques), containing tannins and structure. Typical for Dornfelder is its deep dark colour with violet reflections. Today, Dornfelder is the most grown red grape variety in Rheinhessen, covering 3.280 hectares (12% of the total vineyard).
The powerful wines are suitable for hearty roasts, game or cheese, whereas the lighter, more fruity wines match almost every situation.