"The Arctic Circle: A new frontier for sustainable wine"

Who knew? This is an in-depth article about winemaking in Sweden, with a digression to cover Nova Scotia.

It’s interesting that they lay stress on the environmental advantages of the hybrid varieties they’ve planted (Solaris), which require much less or no spraying necessary.

However, they don’t mention hours of sunshine, which I always understood was a threshold for grape growing. I can’t think it’s particularly sunny in Gotland, an island in the Baltic Sea. I’m sure the hybrids have a lower requirement, but I’d like to know how much lower.

I was going to upload maps, but I can’t figure how to do that on the new (fr*&#ng) site.

Oh, that’s right – you can drag and crop images, a real improvement. I take back that swearing.

This map shows Gotland, where the featured winery is located, relative to the rest of the world – on the latitude of Hudson Bay.

This second shows its relative position in more detail against other northerly wine areas of Europe. Champagne (Ch) and the Ahr Valley (Ahr) were long considered the northern limits of quality wine production. But England is now producing quite good sparkling wines, in the southeast, which shares the same chalky underlay as Champagne and has a mild climate due to the English Channel.

Still, Gotland is north of Edinburgh (scrawled E on the map).

I’ve been waiting for Otto or the other Finns to weigh in.

Yeah…that would be Otto (shocking, I’m sure). I know for a fact that the man is even a member of the ”grape growing in Finland” -Facebook group.

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While I don’t know much about the wine scene in Sweden, and I might be wrong but I believe most of the wine made is grown in the southern part (Skåne) quite close to Denmark. It has kept buzzing more and more in Swedish news but have yet to try myself.

As for Gotland - it’s a very sunny Island (for being Sweden at least) and one of the safest places for some during the summer. It’s probably one of the most popular destinations during summer for Swedes. A really beautiful island from the walled city of Visby to the tranquility of Fårö, Ingmar Bergman’s beloved spot on earth.

For quite a few summers the weather has been close to continental Europe in terms of temperature (upper 20-30 Celsius), I just got back from spending 2 weeks in Stockholm and growing up there I cannot recall that warm (for such a long period of time) in August.

As for the sun hours, good question… as long as there is no rain and very cloudy you will have very long days but would be interesting to see some stats for resent summers.

I have also seen post on IG from Keller who is helping someone farm vines in Norway - even further north!

Just a remark related to Edinburgh, as beautiful as it is, the weather there is a significantly colder and rainy place than Sweden (east coast).

That’s interesting to know about the sunny weather of Gotland.

The quality of Danish wine has started to be rather good in the last few years. More ripe fruit certainly helps. Solaris is and has been the focus for many years, but the most hyped (and best!) Danish winemaker has focused on Pinot Noir Precoce with great success. I have tasted them blind with people where Burgundy was most often guessed.

It will be very interesting to follow the development over the next 10-20 years (and sad as we all know what causes these possibilities).

Interesting. Thanks.

I was curious, so I verified that Pinot Noir Precos is another name for Frühburgunder, which is planted in some cooler areas of Germany. Makes sense.

(For those who don’t speak German, Frühburgunder =early Burgundy, versus Spätburgunder = late Burgundy.)

Wikipedia says it is generally considered just an earlier-ripening genetic variant of pinot noir, and not a distinct grape.


Not to be that guy but Gotland is 1000 km (621 miles) south of the Arctic Circle. The BBC should know better.

For perspective, that’s just a little bit less than the distance between Seattle and Napa.

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Yes, the headline played fast and loose with the body of the story.

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