Wine regions in Scandinavia
Wine laws and classification
The wine countries Sweden and Denmark currently have no official division into different areas and regions. The origin is only "Sweden" or “Denmark” respectively and the wines are classified as "table wine". Within the EU's division of wine-growing zones, the Scandinavian countries are found in the coolest, zone A, which also includes Germany except Baden, Great Britain, Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Despite the lack of official division, there is a number of specific areas in Scandinavia where wine is grown, each with its own special character. As we at Nordic Vineyards currently only offer wine from Sweden, it is the Swedish wine regions we will cover below.
Wine from in Skåne
Skåne (Scania) is Sweden's southernmost region and one of Europe's newest wine-growing areas, this is where most of Swedish wine growing takes place. Scanian viticulture has grown a lot in recent years and there is everything from vineyards with 120,000 vines to small ones with only a few hundred.
The quality of the wine is generally high, several of the vineyards have received awards both internationally and at the annual wine tastings conducted by the Swedish Wine Association.
Skåne's vineyards are located along the lowland coasts. The bedrock is very varied and can in just 100 meters switch between sand and clay, flint-rich clay soil on top of lime-mixed sand, to light sandy soils. The vineyards in Skåne have different conditions with both challenges and advantages. In northwestern Skåne, the Kulla peninsula is surrounded by three different waters: Kattegatt, Öresund and Skälderviken. The proximity to water keeps the frost away and contributes to the cultivation opportunities, which at the same time made are more difficult by less sun exposure than in some other areas.
Southeastern Skåne has slightly higher temperatures in the spring and the growing season starts a little earlier. The landscape, on the other hand, is hillier and the spring frost then tends to creep down into the valleys.
Southwestern Skåne consists of a virtually flat cultivation area and a precipitation of about 650 mm / year, which means that it is basically free from problems with rot. To increase the sun exposure, more leaves are left on the vines as they act as huge solar panels. By keeping all the leaves in sunlight, the chances of getting ripe grapes increase.
Wine from Öland and Gotland
Sweden's two large islands in the Baltic Sea, Öland and Gotland, are both characterized by calcareous soil and relatively many hours of sunshine, which makes favourable conditions for the grapes. The wind is also an advantage, as it keeps moisture away and reduces the risk of mould. Spring arrives later here compared to Skåne, which means that the budding is also delayed. This reduces the risk of early frostbite. These conditions explains why Öland and Gotland have relatively many commercial vineyards in relation to their small populations.
Wine from Halland
Halland is located along the Swedish west coast and borders Skåne in the south. Due to its coastal location, Halland has a mild climate for Sweden, especially in winter. The vineyard in Halland is so far much less extensive than in Skåne, but the climate, at least on the coastal plain, does not differ significantly and new wineries will probably be established as the Swedish wine industry picks up speed.
Other wine regions in Sweden
Other regions in the south of Sweden, by the east coast or by major lakes as Vättern, also hold a few vineyards. In areas with sunny micro climates, often with a tradition of growing fruit, are being discovered as favourable places to grow wine as well. Regions such as Blekinge, Östergötland and the coast of Småland are examples where wine is grown outside of the major agricultural areas of the very south.