This grape has a particularly notable feature — it is frost resistant. Ehrenfelser was bred in 1929 by crossing Riesling and Knipperlé (an Alsace white grape variety). The name is derived from the ruin Ehrenfels near Rüdesheim in Germany. Originally grown there, it has found success in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia due to its ability to thrive in cooler climates. It can also be found in smaller plantings in New Zealand and Washington state in the United States.
Ehrenfelser tends to ripen earlier than Riesling and produce higher yields. It is fruit forward and tends to be off-dry. The grape features vibrant aromas and flavours of honey, apricot, grapefruit, peach, apple, pear, and floral characteristics.
Ehrenfelser is used to make both varietal and icewines. It makes a popular choice for icewine production because of its high sugar content. Best consumed young, serve it chilled, and enjoy with soft cheeses, tangy salads, fresh seafood, spicy cuisine, and fruity desserts.
In summary, Ehrenfelser has the following characteristics:
- Origins comeally from Germany
- Cross between Riesling and Knipperlé
- Planted in Germany, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States
- Intensely aromatic and fruit forward
- Off-dry and fruity palate
- Frost resistant
- Riesling’s younger brothersibling
- Used in iIcewine production in Canada
- Goes Pairs well with soft cheeses, salads, seafood, pork, chicken, spicy dishes, and fresh fruit