Medals are almost becoming commonplace for Fredholms Vingård in Sweden.

They have only 1800 vines and got 96 points at PIWI International Challenge 2022 for their Solaris ”Elsa” – one of ten wines awarded Top Gold. Fredholm Flasche TopGold

Medals are almost becoming commonplace for Fredholms Vingård in Sweden.

– It is the first time that we are submitting wine to a competition solely for PIWI. Previously we’ve wanted to compare ourselves to other wines, says Pär Fredholm at Fredholms Vingård.

The wine „Elsa“, a 100% Solaris that was first released in 2017, has previously been awarded four great golds, five golds and one silver at competitions in Spain, Germany and France. The wine has a couple of days of maceration with one third in French oak barrels before final aging for seven months in steel tanks.

– Internationally, „Elsa“ has always received over 90 points. It’s amazing that it can performs so well everywhere, all the time. Why? I think that part lies in the minerality, the saltiness and the high pH – the acid never becomes aggressive, says Pär Fredholm.

Fredholms Vingård is located, like most wineries in Sweden, in Skåne in the very south. The couple Jenny and Pär Fredholm started in typical Swedish manner on a small scale with red grapes. 25 Rondo cuttings were planted in 2002. Pär Fredholm shakes his head:

– Rondo is not our favorite grape, but at the time everyone here wanted to make red wine. However, it didn’t take long before people realized that the wine from Rondo was not that good, but that white was better suited.

However, he is much more fond of Siramé, which he hopes will get more attention in Sweden.

– It’s a fantastic grape that rarely gets sick. It’s a shame it isn’t more popular. We use it in our rosé together with Rondo, where the latter works better.

Fixed focus is Solaris. The first cuttings were planted in 2008, but it is only from vintage 2017 – the premiere vintage of the prize-winning wine „Elsa“ – that they think they have gotten to know the grape and know how to treat it.

– We prune hard for low yield, around 0.8–1 kilo per log. In the winery, we let the grape skins macerate for a couple of days before fermentation, partly to raise the pH value. Acid is indeed the backbone of all wines, but it can also be the winemaker’s worst enemy.

The 2022 harvest has just finished, and Pär and Jenny Fredholm are satisfied with the vintage, which, however, got off to a tentative start with a cold spring and early summer.

– Then came the heat – but no rain, so some here had problems with stress in their vines. Ours could handle it, so we got a normal maturity and about 13 degrees alcohol, says Pär Fredholm.

Though, he emphasizes the importance of not only looking at Oechsle. You have to look at the whole, not least the phenolic maturity.

To return to „Elsa“ and the structure behind the success. The typical saltiness and minerality – call it energy – which only seems to become more and more prominent, Pär Fredholm finds the answer in the soil. The vineyard has volcanic soil and is located near an old lime quarry.

– Now the roots are starting to dig deep and can reflect the terroir.

And why the name Elsa? After their beloved black labrador of course, always present in the vineyard to contribute positive energy to vines as well as followers on social media.

November 4, 2022|

PIWI is developing into a quality mark - PIWI Wine Challenge 2022

High level at the PIWI International Wine Challenge 2022

President Alexander Morandell Wine Queen Katrin Lang-Georg Börsig

Gone are the days when PIWI vines were grown primarily for environmental reasons. There are now many very good wines made from PIWI varieties, as well as numerous internationally committed winegrowers who can draw on a lot of experience with PIWIs both in viticulture and in winemaking and who bottle the best wines, which the PIWI International Wine Challenge 2022 has fully confirmed . Two thirds of the wines received SILVER or GOLD, even TOP GOLD. The high quality was generally confirmed by the visitors at the subsequent public tasting, for which all the wines were presented according to the blind evaluation. The PIWI mark, which PIWI members are allowed to put on the labels of their wines, can be considered something of a quality mark. And so PIWI wines bring environmental protection and enjoying good wines together and can be considered an important future of wine.


November 2, 2022|

Katrin Lang visits PIWI International Wine Challenge

Source: German Wine Queen – News


"The German wine nation has been dealing with the topic of PIWIs and sustainable viticulture for several years: Wine producers are also planting more and more robust grape varieties at an international level," said German Wine Queen Katrin Lang during her visit to the PIWI International Wine Challenge 2022 in Kappelrodeck-Waldulm.

The PIWI International working group has launched a competition for the first time: At the PIWI International Wine Challenge 2022, a total of over 180 wines from Germany and the surrounding wine-growing nations were entered and evaluated in five categories by a specialist jury.

To the results of the top winners


October 27, 2022|

divico: assemblage partner for Pinot noir?

It is well known that Pinot noir is becoming less popular with inexperienced wine consumers due to its relatively light colour. This shortcoming is partially remedied with so-called dyer grapes. Now the fungus-resistant variety Divico is being discussed as an assemblage partner - because of the color and the olfactory potential.

Pinot noir is still the most commonly grown red wine variety in Switzerland. Their high qualitative potential is sometimes reduced by a color intensity that is judged to be rather weak. Dyer grapes such as Dakapo and Dunkelfelder are grown in Switzerland, and their wines are used in low-percentage blends to improve color. With the Divico vine developed by Agroscope and approved in 2013, which is resistant to downy and powdery mildew and gray mold, another variety is available that is suitable for this purpose. In a trial carried out on the Agroscope experimental farms in Changins and Pully, a 10 % blend of Divico with Pinot noir was compared with blends of the Dakapo and Dunkelfelder grape varieties.

Source fruit and wine growing Switzerland
Author: Jean-Laurent Spring Agroscope, Pully

read more (English)

October 21, 2022|

PIWI Wine Award International publishes the ranking according to 2022 PAR®

PAR® Quality test with 283 PIWI wines from 14 countries - increased average level - overall winner with 99 points comes from Switzerland

Frasdorf, October 2022 – An impressed PAR® It was the Certified Master Jury that selected the tasting room at the end of last weekend PIWI WINE AWARD INTERNATIONAL in Frasdorf, Bavaria. Because the high average level of this year's ranking exceeded all expectations: the percentage of Grand Gold and Gold ratings was 10 percent higher than in the previous year, and that without any changes to the tasting scheme or medal table. A total of 30 Grand Gold, 130 Gold, 90 Silver and 20 Recommendations were awarded. Overall winner with 99 points is the 2020 Divico AOC from the Florian Ramu winery on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The telephone debriefing will take place on October 26th.


October 20, 2022|

Late pruning of the vine

In the current climatic context, with milder winters leading to earlier budburst in most wine regions, vines are exposed to the risk of spring frosts for a longer period.  Depending on the year, frost can lead to yield losses of between 20 and 100 %, jeopardizing the economic survival of wine estates. In addition, by destroying young shoots, spring frosts can impact the following season’s production, by reducing the number of canes available for pruning, for example. Late pruning is one method to combat spring frosts (Ravas, 1912; Frioni et al., 2019).

October 2, 2022|

The country needs new grape varieties...

Source: Tagesschau - MITTENDRIN - viticulture and climate change

Status: 09/22/2022 4:30 p.m

Long periods of drought, extreme heat and heavy rainfall: climate change and its consequences pose major challenges for winegrowers in the Rheingau. Traditional grape varieties in particular are suffering from the extreme weather.

By Jakob Schaumann, HR

Excerpt from the article ….

Save Riesling from extinction

Since 2014, the Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences has been researching what the future of viticulture could look like with a project that is unique in the world. With the FACE experiment, the researchers venture a glimpse into the atmospheric future. The expected CO2 concentration of 2050 is simulated by the targeted addition of around 20 percent carbon dioxide.

Two varieties are examined: the Cabernet Sauvignon, which is more familiar from warmer climes, and the Riesling, which is typical of the Rheingau. "Of course we are interested in how the wine will be in 2050, but above all: How will the plant react?" says Hans Reiner Schultz, President of the university. It is about the water consumption and the structure of the fruit, because the more compact a fruit is, the more susceptible it is to rot.

It is already apparent today that this could become a problem for Riesling. The increased CO2 concentration leads to increased photosynthesis and stronger berry growth; this makes the Riesling vines more compact and therefore more susceptible to mold growth. To ensure that the Riesling does not die out in the Rheingau, the University breeds Riesling vines that can cope better with climate change and have looser berry growth overall.

September 23, 2022|

Pesticides - sustainable use (updated EU rules)

EU rules on the sustainable use of pesticides aim to protect human health and the environment from the potential risks and effects of pesticides.

The regulations encourage the reduction of pesticides by

  • integrated crop protection
  • Alternatives to chemical pesticides.

This initiative is examining the extent to which these targets have been met and how pesticide use can be further reduced in order to achieve the goals of the Farm to Fork strategy and the European Green Deal.

PIWI International does not refer to the resistant varieties in this regulation!

“The proposal for a regulation on the sustainable use of plant protection products focuses too much on integrated pest management and misses the point – investing in and promoting cultivar resistance.

Many agricultural crops already have cultivars with a genetically encoded higher level of resistance classic interspecific crossing was acquired. These new varieties have natural resistances and are therefore less susceptible to disease, therefore requiring much less treatment than traditional grape varieties, and when using less aggressive products. This also reduces the carbon footprint, not just the chemical load.
The dissemination and promotion of these new varieties, especially in viticulture, where there are already enough positive experiences across Europe, should be the main direction for agriculture, along with the replacement of aggressive chemicals.

In the case of grapevines, for example, around 100 such varieties are already registered in the relevant variety lists in the EU Member States, and more are being added all the time. Dozens of them are approved for the production of top wines (PDO and also DOC) in some countries such as Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy and France and have won high awards at international wine competitions. In general, therefore, the greatest potential for reducing pesticide use lies in the biological value of varieties, which is not addressed in the proposed regulation.

September 18, 2022|

Harvest report from Sweden: Late flowering – late harvest

The spring was late and cold, which means a later harvest and slightly less fruit. But the quality of the Swedish grapes is reported to be good.

The Swedish winegrowers are preparing for harvest. As in the rest of Europe, the summer was hot and dry (but without an extreme heatwave). However, a cold May and thus flowering means that the harvest takes place slightly later compared to last year, plus there will be a few fewer grapes.

At Kullabergs Vingård in southwestern Sweden, their harvest of PIWI is expected to begin in October.

– The cool and late flowering means that we have a slightly smaller amount of fruit this year. But the summer was hot and dry so it looks good, says winemaker K Felix G Åhrberg, who came to Kullaberg in 2017 after working abroad. He is a trained oenologist at Klosterneuburg in Austria.

Kullaberg grows six primary varieties – Solaris, Souvignier Gris, Muscaris, Donauriesling, Pinot Nova and Cabernet Noir – but also has experimental cultivation with around 20 varieties to see what works. Until now, the focus has been on the Swedish „national grape“ Solaris, but K Felix G Åhrberg strongly believes in the new PIWI generation of blue varieties.

– In my opinion, Rondo and Regent give a bit of foxy flavor – it’s kind of like running Windows 95 on your computer. Pinot Nova and Cabernet Noir I like a lot, he says.

Pinot Nova (Blauer Burgunder x Malverina) is related to Pinot Noir and comes from Austria; Cabernet Noir is an offspring of Cabernet Sauvignon and was cultivated by Valentin Blatter in Switzerland in 1991.

Kullaberg is Sweden’s largest investment winery with a total of 14 hectares. The soil is mostly sand-mixed clay with one of the country’s oldest rock types, the pink-toned diabase Kullait. The location right by the sea is also favorable:

– We are surrounded by three seas, Öresund, Skälderviken and Kattegatt. This means that we have a mild climate with a long growing season.

A new circular winery built of wood will be inaugurated at the end of October.

– We have solar cells and our own water which we reuse. It’s 2.000 square meters and the capacity will be 100,000 bottles. Last year we made 32,000.

Just outside Malmö in the south you’ll find Vingården i Klagshamn, founded in 2001 and one of the pioneers in Swedish viticulture. Murat Sofrakis and Lena Jörgensen have 1.8 hectares, 80 percent Solaris.

– For our part, it was a cold spring with a late flowering at the end of June, and beginning of July. When summer came, it became dry – the plants were stressed, so now we are a little behind compared to previous years. We usually harvest in mid-September but are still waiting to get started.

Lena Jörgensen confirms the increased interest in Swedish wine.

– Absolutely. There is greater demand and we sell out. We accept pre-booked groups and this year we have been full. It’s a new category of people coming now, wine geeks with a solid interest.


• The new cellar at Kullabergs Vingård, with steel tanks from Ledinegg, Austria.

• Murat Sofrakis and Lena Jörgensen, Vingården i Klagshamn.

September 15, 2022|

Approval of a new protected designation in the Netherlands

In the Official Journal of the EU C 315 of August 19, 2022, the EC notification 2022/C 315/06 on protected designation of origin (PDO) "Rivierenland" for wine, quality sparkling wine, semi-sparkling wine and wine from dried grapes was published.

Depending on the type of product, the minimum alcohol content is between 5 % and 12 % vol. Depending on the variety, the maximum yield per hectare is 40-60 hectoliters. The varieties are exclusively PIWI, of which there are 14 in total, most of which come from Germany and 4 from Switzerland. The white PIWI varieties are Cabernet blanc, Johanniter, Merzling, Muscaris, Sauvignac, Solaris, Souvignier gris and Villaris. The blue PIWI varieties are Cabaret noir, Cabernet Cantor, Cabernet Cortis, Monarch, Pinotin and Regent.

Official Journal of the EU C 315 of August 19, 2022; Jiří Sedlo

September 11, 2022|

Swedish viticulture with PIWI

In just over 20 years, Swedish viticulture has gone from being a hobby to a commercially recognized player with wines that win international prizes and reputation – thanks to the hardy PIWI grapes.

Sweden has around 50 commercial vineyards and nearly 200 hectare under vines. The main grape is Solaris – roughly 80% – followed by Rondo; both established PIWI varieties.

PIWI is a long-term sustainable solution not only for Sweden; even in established wine countries, they realize that climate change requires new ideas and an open mind.
The association PIWI International, founded in 1999 – incidentally, the same year that Sweden became an official wine country according to the EU – is a platform for the exchange of experience and discussions, which with joint forces and strength can market these wines. For Sweden, viticulture has become an experienced industry and business of the future that can create jobs in the countryside.
The PIWI International Wine Challenge has become an internationally recognized competition, where Swedish wines are starting to take off. We are now launching a local chapter for Sweden to promote our wines on a larger scale, and collaborate on home ground.
September 3, 2022| – the fastest way to new grape varieties!

The current sustainability debate has given the PIWI topic new impetus and increased demand for new varieties.
DLR-Rheinpfalz, together with the German Winegrowers' Association and PIWI Germany, developed the "" platform as an experiment so that you, as a winegrower, can quickly and easily gain your own experience in growing new grape varieties (PIWIs). .

With the exchange you have the opportunity to buy (or sell) small quantities of wine grapes or must from new grape varieties and to try out and experiment with vinification.

The PIWI Exchange is initially scheduled for one year.

DLR Rheinpfalz
dr Charlotte Hardt

September 1, 2022|
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