History of Scandinavian Winemaking

In Sweden, wine has been made from fruit and berries since the middle of the 16th century, with the largest production volumes during the 19th century. When the alcohol monopoly was introduced in 1917, only companies that had already produced wine before 1917 were allowed to remain, but many still closed down their operations. In 1933, fruit and berry wines were no longer allowed to be called wine. A few years later, the tax on Swedish fruit wines was raised and the industry was basically eliminated.

In the late 1990s, wine production in Europe began to move north thanks to hybrid grapes and new technology. In 1999, commercial viticulture was allowed in both Denmark and Sweden. It took a while before the pioneers in Sweden learned to master the climate and raw materials. Several growers today work closeely with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) to refine their operations based on climate conditions. In the autumn of 2020, there were about 30 established wine producers in Sweden, of which just under ten are slightly larger.

The volumes of Swedish wine have increased greatly since the start, as has the quality. With Swedish wine, many consumers find what they are looking for: small and new origins, new vinification methods, different grape varieties and not least a more artisanal and environmentally friendly production.

Swedish viticulture stands out compared to the rest of Europe by a much lower use of pesticides. The varieties grown are almost exclusively so-called Piwi (Pilzwiderstandfähige) varieties that are resistant to diseases, especially to powdery mildew. This means that you only need to spray for preventive purposes with sulphur preparations. In southern Europe, spraying is often done with copper-based preparations, even in organically certified vineyards.

Most wineries in Sweden work organically with natural manure and mechanical weed control, even those not certified as organic farms.