Norway’s first grape harvest suggests the world really is warming up.
If President Trump continues to deny climate change, perhaps someone can give him a glass of Riesling from this vineyard in Kristiansand, at a latitude of 58º north on the southern tip of Norway with this view towards the North Sea.
Klaus Peter and Julia Keller planted the vineyard 10 years ago with Norwegian Anne Enggrav, a previous apprentice at Weingut Keller, on land belonging to Anne’s father, as recounted in The first vineyard in Norway?
Keller explained, ‘We started this project and thought it was for the next generation and 10 years later we had two vintages where it was possible to harvest ripe Riesling grapes. When I told my former university teacher about the plan he said it would be possible to plant Riesling from 2050 onwards, so this harvest is beautiful and frightening at same time.’
The entire Keller family (Klaus Peter and sons Felix and Max pictured below by Sune Erikson) and Enggrav and her husband (above, also by Sune Erikson) harvested the tiny vineyard just over a week ago, when the Riesling had reached a must weight of 76 Oechsle. A Kabinett-style wine will be made from these grapes grown in one of the warmest parts of the country. Two rows of vines were left for Eiswein. Keller also has high hopes for the tiny quantity of perfectly ripe Pinot Noir they picked and destemmed by hand.
With such small quantities, they pressed the grapes in an apple press.
Keller said ‘the juice tasted good – like Grünhaus in the '70s. I directly fell in love with it.’ It was also appreciated by a local fisherman (lobster season started 1 October) who had heard about the harvest and was a great Riesling fan. And by his catch.
‘I have a good friend who helps organise the World Economic Forum in Davos’, Keller told us, ‘and we will try to get the Norwegian Riesling there as a sign that something must happen now to control climatic change. Norwegian photographer Sune Erikson will also produce a film about the project. So perhaps it will not only taste good but help a bit.
‘This will be a liquid proof for climatic change and I hope it will change some peoples' minds.’
Keller took the first two photos, the rest are by Sune Erikson.