Dunkelfelder is a dark-skinned variety of grape
A grape is a non-climacteric fruit, specifically a berry, that grows on the perennial and deciduous woody vines of the genus Vitis. Grapes can be eaten raw or they can be used for making jam, juice, jelly, vinegar, wine, grape seed extracts, raisins, molasses and grape seed oil. Grapes are also...

 used for red wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

. It was created by German
Viticulture is the science, production and study of grapes which deals with the series of events that occur in the vineyard. When the grapes are used for winemaking, it is also known as viniculture...

 Gustav Adolf Froelich (1847-1912). He probably crossed Färbertraube (a teinturier
Teinturier, a French language term meaning to dye or stain, is a wine term applied to grapes whose flesh and juice is red in colour due to anthocyanin pigments accumulating within the pulp of the grape berry itself. In most cases, anthocyanin pigments are confined to the outer skin tissue only, and...

) with Blauer Portugieser
Blauer Portugieser
Blauer Portugieser is a red Austrian and German wine grape found primarily in the Rheinhessen, Pfalz and wine regions of Lower Austria. It is also one of the permitted grapes in the Hungarian wine Egri Bikavér . In Germany, the cultivated area covered or 4.5% of the total vineyard area in 2007...

. The variety, initially called Froelich V 4-4, did not receive any attention for several decades until work was continued on it at Geisenheim grape breeding institute
Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute
The Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute was founded in 1872 and is located in Geisenheim, Rheingau, Germany. In 1876 professor Hermann Müller from Switzerland joined the institution, where he developed his namesake variety Müller-Thurgau , which became the most planted grape variety in Germany in...

 in the 1930s. It was named Dunkelfelder (dunkel = dark) by ampelographer
Ampelography is the field of botany concerned with the identification and classification of grapevines, Vitis spp. Traditionally this has been done by comparing the shape and colour of the vine leaves and grape berries; more recently the study of vines has been revolutionised by DNA...

 Helmut Becker
Helmut Becker
Helmut Becker , German viticulturist, was chief of the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute. He viewed viticulture from a global perspective and promoted the globalization of a quality wine industry. Dr...

, due to its unclear parentage and its dark colour. Dunkelfelder received varietal protection and was released for general cultivation in 1980.

In 2006, there were 372 hectares (919.2 acre) of Dunkelfelder in Germany, with an approximately constant trend. Plantings of Dunkelfelder are primarily found in Ahr
Ahr (wine region)
Ahr is a wine region for quality wine in Germany, and is located in the valley of the river Ahr, a tributary of Rhine, and is situated in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate. With only of vines as of 2008, it is one of smaller of Germany's 13 regions...

, Baden
Baden (wine region)
Baden is a region for quality wine in Germany, and is located in the historical region of Baden in southwestern Germany, which today forms part of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg...

, Nahe
Nahe (wine region)
Nahe is a region for quality wine in Germany, along the River Nahe in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate. On the region's of vineyards in 2008, white wine grapes dominate with 75% and Riesling is the most common variety with 27.2%...

, Palatinate
Palatinate (wine region)
Palatinate is a German wine-growing region in the area of Bad Dürkheim, Neustadt an der Weinstraße, and Landau in Rhineland-Palatinate. Before 1993, it was known as Rhine Palatinate . With under cultivation in 2008, the region is the second largest wine region in Germany after Rheinhessen...

 and Rheinhessen
Rheinhessen (wine region)
Rheinhessen is the largest of 13 German wine regions for quality wines with under cultivation in 2008. Named for the traditional region of Rhenish Hesse, it lies on the left bank of the River Rhine between Worms and Bingen in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate...


Dunkelfelder wines are deep and dark red in colour, which used to be difficult to achieve with German red wines, and it has therefore often been used for blends, although varietal
"Varietal" describes wines made primarily from a single named grape variety, and which typically displays the name of that variety on the wine label. Examples of grape varieties commonly used in varietal wines are Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot...

Dunkelfelder wines are also produced.

It is known under the synonyms Farbtraube Froelich, Froelich V 4-4 and Purpur.
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