By Lisa Rowlands

Bred at the end of the 1920s by crossing the Italian red variety Trollinger with Germany’s aromatic Riesling, Kerner is a high-yielding, reliable grape that is largely resistant to frost. Whilst it shares many traits with Riesling - both on the vine and when vinified - Kerner is not so dependent upon perfect growing conditions and can flourish even in seemingly unfavourable locations and climates.

Released for cultivation in the late 1960s, the Kerner grape is grown predominantly in the Rheinhessen and Pfalz regions of Germany as well as in other parts of the country. It is also prevalent in Austria, Switzerland and Italy’s Alto Adige province where it was awarded DOC status in the early 1990s, and small parcels can be found much further afield in Canada and on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Commonly used in blends, Kerner is also vinified as a varietal, producing crisp, fragrant wines that are rich in flavour and have the ability to age well.