Kerner is a green grape that is decreasing in its native country Germany but has been given a chance in several new countries.
Kerner is a high acidity grape that will accept different growth conditions (meaning that it has been planted in less favourable places in favour of one of its parents, Riesling, which is looked upon as a better grape for producing dry varietal wines).
Kerner has a history of being used in blends such as the now out of fashion Liebfraumilch (which could be part of an explanation for its decrease in acreage, see below). When used to produce varietal wines you will typically find green apple, pear and citrus flavours. Given its high acidity levels, it is possible to store in your cellar for later consumption.
The best dry varietals’ come from Germany’s Rheinhessen and Pfalz. Try to find wines made from grapes grown on a bit of higher altitude.
A very nice pairing will be a pie based on chicken or smoked ham. The wine is best served at 8-10°C/46-50°F.
Where is it grown?
World-wide, Kerner has seen a decrease of forty-three percent between 2000 and 2010. In 2010, the grape’s world-wide acreage was reported to be 4.070 ha/10,057 ac.
Germany remains Kerner’s heartland even if there’s been a decrease of close to fifty percent in ten years. The grape can be found in several regions, but it is in Rheinhessen and Pfalz we find the most planted area, some sixty-four percent of the country’s total acreage.
Three countries reported plantings in both 2000 and 2010; Japan, Italy and Switzerland. In Japan, there are some 337 ha/833 ac on Hokkaido, making it the fifth most planted grape in the country. In Italy, there are 83 ha/205 ac – tripled in ten years – found mostly in the northern region Trentino-Alto Adige. In Switzerland, there are very small plantings in almost all regions.
Six countries have reported very small but nevertheless new plantings, e.g. after 2000; Canada, United Kingdom, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, and Slovenia.
Kerner is a crossing between Riesling and Schiava Grossa (also known as Trollinger), made in Württemberg in 1929 by the famous breeder August Herold.