The Kerner grape is an aromatic white grape variety. It was bred in 1929 by August Herold by crossing Trollinger (a red variety also known as Schiava grossa) and Riesling. Herold was working at a plant breeding station in Lauffen in the Württemberg region of Germany. This station belonged to a state breeding institute headquartered in Weinsberg. It received varietal protection and was released for general cultivation in 1969.
Kerner has been named in honour of a poet and physician from Swabia, Justinus Kerner, whose works included songs and poetry on wine. In 2006 Kerner was the 8th most planted variety in Germany with and 3.9% of the total vineyard surface. The trend since the mid-1990s is that German plantations of Kerner decrease, just as the case for all other "new breeds" of white varieties, such as Müller-Thurgau and Bacchus. German plantations of Kerner reached their highest point around 1990, with around and 7.5% of the total German vineyard surface. For a while around 1995 it was in fact the third most planted variety in Germany after Riesling and Müller-Thurgau.
Kerner is most commonly planted in the German regions of Palatinate, Rheinhessen, Mosel, and Württemberg, but it is also grown in Austria (Styria), Switzerland and Italy’s Alto Adige/Südtirol region. It was introduced into Alto Adige/Südtirol in the early 1970s and awarded Denominazione di origine controllata (DOC) status in 1993.
Compared to Riesling, Kerner can be grown in less favourable conditions and has bigger yields. The ripening is in early October.
This vine grows on all types of soil, in general is grown on slopes and on sunny slopes it can be grown up to altitudes of 800-900 metres.
This hybrid isn’t sensitive downy mildew, powdery mildew and botrytis, but in bad weather conditions these diseases can cause some problems. There aren’t pests problems because in these cold conditions they can't develop.