Twenty years ago, viticulture was not something people talked about in the Nordics. But something has happened. The climate has become warmer. As the white grapes of France and Spain sweat in the heat of southern Europe, the increasing temperatures in the Nordics create the opportunity to grow high-quality wines further north. Dyrehøj Vingaard, Denmark's largest vineyard with over 50.000 vines, is located on Zealand's northwestern headland Røsnæs. The vineyard welcomes visitors to their café and well-stocked farm shop where there is the opportunity for spontaneous wine tastings, but also an opportunity to buy the farm's wine, spirits and other products.
Danish wine rarely reaches beyond the country's borders. Although today there are more than 100 wineries in Denmark, the volumes are small. Add to that the fact that labor is expensive, which makes it difficult to compete with the large producers of southern Europe.
Out on the Røsnæs peninsula, the climate is dry and offers many pleasant hours of sunshine. The sea contributes to a more even and drier climate and the sea breezes reduce the risk of mold attacks. The grape that is grown the most here at Dyrehøj Vingaard is Solaris, the German grape that is also a big favorite among the vineyards in Skåne. As the more southern vineyards of Europe produce increasingly sweeter wines as temperatures rise, the Nordic vineyards can continue to produce crisp and dry white wines.
Dyrehøj Vingaard was started in 2008 by a pair of siblings – Tom Christensen and Betina Newberry. Since 2008, the farm has grown and developed into a tourist attraction and into one of Denmark's leading vineyards. Quality wine is created here from sustainable and organic cultivation.
We visit the farm on a sunny weekend in April. The vines are still bare and it will be six months before this year's harvest can be harvested. The climate scientists predict that the climate in Denmark in 50 years will be similar to the climate in Alsace. It's time to start investing and buying land if you want to join the winegrower bandwagon. Today, wine is grown on 1000 hectares of land in Denmark, compared to 10 million hectares in southern Europe. A drop in the ocean of wine.
On the farm there is a small café, a gallery and a farm shop. The farm shop is well stocked with the farm's wines – white, bubbly, rosé and red. There is also a selection of the farm's own produced spirits and liqueurs.
In one corner of the shop is a wine vending machine, where by paying a small penny you can taste about twenty of the farm's wines - all with the name RÖS. The tasting is simple, you get a "wine card" that you swipe every time you try a wine. When you're done, you hand in the card to the cashier and pay.
Whether you're looking to shop for Danish wines, have lunch in the sun or just learn more about viticulture in the Nordics, a visit to Dyrehøj Vingaard is an interesting stop during a road trip in Zealand.
How do I get to Dyrehøj Vingaard?
Dyrehøj Vingaard is located 11 kilometers west of Copenhagen, on the Røsnæs peninsula. The wine shop is open every day of the week between 10 a.m. and 17 p.m. The winery has tours with tours of the farm, but also wine tastings and seaweed safaris(!).
The prices per bottle are between 175-500 Danish kroner kronor, but when we were there you could buy half a dozen of the farm's best sellers for 600 Danish kroner kronor.
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