Winegrowers Supplies -  Vine variety information


Mother: A bud-mutation of Kerner
Father: none

Year of breeding: In autumn, 1974, the grapes on one shoot of one vine in a plantation of Kerner / 5C were observed to have red skins. This cane was retained on the vine and in the following year the shoots from the cane exhibited the same phenomenon. In spring 1976, 12 graftings on 5BB were made as 'potted vines', 8 survived and these were planted out in the same year. Further propagation continued each year and eventually it was found that the mutation was stable at every stage.

Country of origin: Germany
Breeder/License holder: Herr Ludwig Hochdörffer, Landau-Nußdorf / Rheinpfalz
    Kernling was originally known as '13 A 80', after the birth date of his son Philip.
Number of clones: one

Year of entry into the German Federal Office's Varieties Register: 1995
Area planted in Germany in 2001: 19 Hectares
Area planted in England (as at August 2004): unknown, may have been confused in the records with Kerner. Large numbers of vines have been planted in UK.

Wine Character - colour: yellow-green
                      - bouquet: fine 
                      - palate: fruity, fresh, full of character, lasting
High quality wine of the Riesling-type, similar to Kerner but slightly riper, with a very pleasant fruity acidity which is less sharp than the acidity of Kerner. The sugar-free-extract is always higher than with Kerner. It is generally too flavourful as dry 'Trocken' wine (with less than about 9 gms/litre of residual sugar) so some addition of süss-reserve is usual.


photo by Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI), Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof - 76833 Siebeldingen, Germany.

Time of bud-burst: late

Strength of growth: medium
Growth of side-shoots: less than Kerner

Flowering time: late
Flowering strength: high (reliable fruit set)

Leaf: - size: medium-large                    - shape: five-lobed 
        - colour: dark green
        - surface undulation: medium        - petiolar sinus: V-form, much overlapping

Grape bunch: - size: medium to large     - density: medium
Berries:        - size: medium to large     - shape: slightly oval
                   - skin colour: pink to greyish-red
Normally the berries start to turn red at around 60° Oechsle, however, with young vines this often does not occur until 70° - 80° Oechsle.

Time of veraison: about a week before Kerner
Time of harvest: middle, about the same time as Schönburger and at least a week before Kerner. If it is harvested at the same time as Kerner it will be at least 6 to 8 Oechsle riper.

Grape yield: high
Must-weight: high
Must-acidity: medium

Wood ripening: very good (it sets in early)
Winter hardiness: good to very good
Wood colour: pale red-brown

Chlorosis resistance: high
Susceptibility to - Oidium: much less than Kerner      - Peronospora: less than Kerner
                       - Botrytis: less than Kerner             - Roter Brenner: 
                       - Phomopsis:                                 - Stem-atrophy: medium to high
The rather looser bunch-structure and the lower production of side-shoots result in less danger of stalk or berry botrytis than with Kerner.

Preferred soil: suitable for all types of soil.
Suitable rootstocks: SO4, or 5C in deep strong-growing soils, 125AA in weak-growing soils.

Normal stem height: 0.8m
Normal row spacing: 1.8 to 2.0m
Vine spacing in the row: 1.2 to 1.3m
     also recommended for wide-planting systems.

Winter Pruning: 8 to 10 eyes/buds per sq. metre of land occupied by the plant.

Advantages: The earliest of the fine Riesling-type wine varieties. Strong flowering, high yielding, superb wood-ripening.  Less side-shoot growth than with Kerner so less work is involved in growing it, and it is less prone to diseases.

Disadvantages: Slight weakness for stem-atrophy, it is important that a normal spraying programme is adhered to.