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Viking Chardonnay

Viking Chardonnay

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, October 30, 2019/Categories: natural history, sustainability, art and design, environment, climate change

                                    Commercial vineyard Gvarv, Norway (credit: Lerkekasa winery)

Before you know it, you could be drinking Scandinavian wines. 

The wine grape (Vitis vinifera) was originally native to the Mediterranean region and grown in vineyards from southern Europe, to California, Chile, and Australia with similar environments exist. Today, climate change is pushing grape-growing regions northwards and the first vineyards have emerged in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. With their long daylight hours in the Summer season, up to 20hrs/day below the Arctic Circle, grapes are thriving in the rich soils of these northern countries. They still must contend with long, cold winters so cold-hardy grape varietals like Merzling, Garanoir, Solaris and Rondo, among others, are cultivated.

Norway's Lerkekåsa vineyards are located at the 59th latitude, which also passes through Alaska and southern Greenland, making it one of the northernmost vineyards in the world.

The new wine region isn't likely to cause concerns for winemakers in France, Italy, California, or Australia but the Swedes and Norwegians could bring some entirely new tasting wines to the table considering their new grape varieties and northern food sensibilities. A listing of Scandinavian vineyards is here.



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