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Grape (Vitis)
RhineValley BurgEhrenfels.JPG
The ruins of Burg Ehrenfels, from which the Ehrenfelser grape takes its name, amidst vineyards in Rüdesheim
Color of berry skinBlanc
SpeciesVitis vinifera
Also calledGeisenheim 9-93
OriginGeisenheim, Rheingau, Germany
Pedigree parent 1Riesling
Pedigree parent 2Knipperlé
VIVC number3847

Ehrenfelser is a white wine grape variety of German origin. It was created by Dr. Heinrich Birk (1898-1973) at the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute in 1929, by crossing Riesling with what was thought at the time to be Silvaner, but DNA markers have since indicated it was the Alsace variety Knipperlé.[1][2]

Ehrenfelser was first grown primarily in the Palatinate and Rheinhessen regions in Germany,[3] however as is the case with most white German "new crosses", plantings within Germany have decreased considerably in recent years. In 2006, only 112 hectares (280 acres) of plantings remained,[4] down from 255 hectares (630 acres) in 1999.[5]

Outside Germany, Ehrenfelser has found some success mainly in Canada, in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. Wineries including Cedar Creek, Lake Breeze, Gray Monk, Gehringer Brothers, Mount Boucherie, Quails' Gate and Summerhill make both still and ice wine styles. There have also been smaller plantings in Washington state and Canterbury, New Zealand.[6] The grape tends to ripen earlier and produce higher yields than Riesling.

The variety normally consistently produces grapes of at least Kabinett level ripeness and tends to produce well in vineyards where Riesling has difficulties.[7]

Ehrenfelser derives its name from the Burg Ehrenfels ruins located on the Rhine near Rüdesheim.[2] It is also known under the synonym Geisenheim 9-93.[1]

Ehrenfelser was crossed with Reichensteiner to create Ehrenbreitsteiner.


  1. ^ a b "Vitis International Variety Catalogue: Ehrenfelser". Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b Tischelmayer, Norbert (ed.). "Ehrenfelser". Wein-Plus Glossary. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  3. ^ Clarke, Oz, ed. (2001). "Ehrenfelser". Encyclopedia of Grapes. Harcourt Books. p. 88. ISBN 0-15-100714-4.
  4. ^ German Wine Institute: German Wine Statistics 2007-2008 Archived September 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ German Wine Institute: German Wine Statistics 2004-2005 Archived 2009-09-20 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Robert Irvine & Walter Clore, The Wine Project, pg 435 Sketch Publications 1997 ISBN 0-9650834-9-7
  7. ^ Jancis Robinson, Vines, Grapes & Wine, pg 252 Octopus Publishing 1986 ISBN 978-1-85732-999-5