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 3.400 hectares.
The German name for Pinot Noir, "Spätburunder" (literal translation: "late Burgundy"), refers to the variety's origin in Burgundy, where it had already been cultivated during late Roman times. "Late" refers to the grape's late ripening. The English word "Pinot" comes from the compact and pine cone shaped grape cluster, referring to the French word "Pin", meaning "pine".
The variety does not need much, when it comes to soil and vineyard. The grapes ripen early and can usually be harvested in the first half of September. In many cases the grape is processed into "Weißherbst". This is a particular Rosé style in Germany, that contains red grapes from only one grape variety.
In fact, the name of the variety may lead to the assumption that Schwarzriesling (Black Riesling) is a relative of Riesling. Yet, the only thing they have in common is the late ripening and the shape of the grape cluster. Its ancestors can be found in Burgundy.