The atmosphere in the (winemakers'-)country reminds a little of what it must have been during the Gold Rush. Many highly motivated people who are investing loads of time, energy, work and money, into a not-quite-so-sure enterprise. With some of the odds against you, probably - as critical voices might say.
Please explain for us: What makes one wanting to produce wine in Sweden, especially with so much wine being produced world wide?
When did Sweden officially become a wine producing nation?
I believe, that was in 1998.
Tell us about the Swedish Winegrowers Association. Is that an official institution, guaranteeing quality standards?
The association works to guarantee quality and the website lists all Swedish wines that have been approved at the Swedish wine assessment in 2009. The work is continued to devide Sweden into different regions to achieve regional wines and then Quality Wines, but this process will still take some more years. Which also explaines why all Swedish wine is currently sold as Table Wine.
Are the ambitions to change this within the nearer future?
We should not rush it too much. It takes time to learn how to make wine. My guess is, we still need some decades before we can make Quality Wine in Sweden. Regional wine we can get within some few years.
There is no tradition of winegrowing in this country, no experience to look back to as in most other wine nations... You are practically starting from zero.Which grape varieties are working here in the north and how are those picked? Is there any one (or several) leading grape variety?
There are some grape varieties that have proven to do really well here in Sweden. The green one is Solaris and the black one is Rondo.
Are there first results confirming that certain grapes really work fine up here, or is most still experimenting?
Both, Solaris and Rondo have achieved high scores at awards both in Sweden and Danmark. To me this looks like we are on the way to establish a standard.
What quantity (hl) of Swedish wine is made today (grown and produced here, that is)?
Between 500-1000 hl.
Is it increasing quickly? Are there prognoses for the next 10, 20, 50 years?
Yes, it is increasing quickly. My guess is it is doubling per year for the next 10 years.
Are there any contests where Swedish wines have been tasted by qualified panels?
Swedish wines have been judged by leading sommeliers in Sweden and Danmark, but so far there are no international awards.
Which wines have earned prizes so far? Is there any 'leading winery' in the country or is it more balanced and prizes are shared among a few?
One leading winery is Klagshamns Vingård in Malmö. We are very happy to have started a cooperation with them and all their wines are today produced at our winery in Åhus.
Is a Swedish wine typically expensive? Can you name a price-range for a bottle 75 cl?
The price for a bottle ranges from 200 SEK (ca 20 €) and 400 SEK (ca 40 €).
What is your own personal favorite Swedish wine - could you please even describe it for us?
My favorite is a white wine from Solaris that has been fermented in stainless steal tanks. It had undergone cold maceration during 24 hours and has a wonderful fresh taste. We have not yet launched it on the market, but had the pleasure to taste it at the winery.
Well, and I had the pleasure to taste last year's (vintage 2008) rosé and really liked it very much! It was nicely fresh with good acidity and had nice raspberry aromas, I still remember those.
Thank you, Ronny, for your time. I am looking forward to our next interview about your winery which is very special in several aspects.