Exploring the Kerner Grape: It’s History and Growth in British Columbia Wineries

Nostalgia Wines Kerner 2020
Nostalgia Wines Kerner 2020

In two previous articles, I covered two red grape varieties that are grown in BC, but are not well-known; Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt.  We also do make some interesting white wines with relatively unknown varieties. I would like to introduce you to the Kerner grape.

Let’s delve into the story behind the Kerner grape, and its aromatic profile, and discover the British Columbia wineries that have embraced this unique varietal.

Kerner History

The tale of the Kerner grape begins in Germany, where in 1929, it was bred by August Herold. It was named after Justinus Kerner, a German poet and medical doctor.  This grape is a hybrid of Trollinger (also known as Schiava Grossa) and Riesling. August Herold’s aim was to create a grape that could thrive in the cool climate of Germany while offering winemakers a versatile option for producing quality wines. The result was the Kerner grape, which quickly gained popularity in German vineyards for its robustness, high yields, and ability to withstand frost.

Kerner is a hybrid grape that’s not particularly fussy about growing conditions, making it an attractive choice for Canadian vineyards.  With the last winters with cold snaps, I would like to hear from BC wineries how this grape vine has survived.

Aromas and Flavours

Wines made from the Kerner grape often exhibit an array of aromas and flavours. On the nose, one might encounter vibrant floral notes of jasmine and elderflower, accompanied by hints of citrus fruits such as lemon and grapefruit. On the palate, Kerner wines typically offer a balance of acidity and sweetness, making them exceptionally food-friendly. Citrus, pears, peaches, flowers, minerality and possibly mango flavours alongside a zesty acidity add complexity and depth to your tasting experience. The finish is often lingering, leaving behind a refreshing sensation that beckons another sip.

Food Pairing

It’s an all-round wine but shines best with light dishes and vegetables.  Excellent pairings include fish, seafood pasta, light poultry, and grilled white meat. For a twist, try it with spicy Asian or Thai green curry dishes. Soft cheeses and German specialties like onion tart or grilled garlic chicken also complement Kerner beautifully! 

British Columbia Wineries Crafting Kerner Wines

In recent years, the Kerner grape has found a new home in the vineyards of British Columbia, where winemakers have embraced its potential to produce distinctive and elegant wines. Here are some notable British Columbia wineries that have ventured into crafting Kerner wines:

  1. SummerGate Winery:  Located in Summerland. Try their Organic Kerner 2021 or Kerner Frizzante 2023. 
  2. Nostalgia Wines:  Located in Oliver. Try their Kerner 2022 or Late Harvest Kerner. 
  3. Sunnybrae Vineyards & Winery:  Located in the Shuswap Lake area. Try their The Boss Man’s Kerner 2020 or Kerner 2022.
  4. Recline Ridge Vineyards & Winery:  Located in the Shuswap Lake area. Try their Kerner 2021.
  5. Venturi-Schulze Vineyards: Located in Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island. Try their Kerner 2019.
  6. Pipe Dreams Vineyard and Estate Winery: Located in Oliver. Try their Late Harvest Kerner 2018.
  7. Grey Monk Winery:  Located in Lake Country. Try their Kerner 2023.

The Kerner grape offers a captivating journey through history and flavour, from its origins in Germany to its flourishing presence in British Columbia’s wine scene. With its enticing aromas, vibrant flavours, and food-friendly character, Kerner wines continue to delight wine enthusiasts with each sip.

Author: mywinepal
Drink Good Wine. That is my motto and I really want to help you drink good wine. What is good wine? That can be a different thing for each people. Food also loves wine so I also cover food and wine pairings, restaurant reviews, and world travel. Enjoy life with me. MyWinePal was started by Karl Kliparchuk, WSET. I spent many years with the South World Wine Society as the President and then cellar master. I love to travel around the world, visiting wine regions and sharing my passion for food & wine with you. Come live vicariously through me, and enjoy all my recommended wines.

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