Swedish wine wines produced in Sweden. A correct use of the term means that the wine is made from wine grapes that are grown in the open in Sweden, on a Swedish vineyard. Some of these vineyards are experimental orchards, while others are commercial producers. Commercial vineyards can be found in Blekinge, on Gotland, in Halland, Skåne, Sörmland, Västergötland and on Öland. Most are relatively close to the coast. The largest concentration of wineries and wine producers is in Skåne, about 30. For the year 2006, the Swedish Board of Agriculture stated that there were four Swedish companies selling self-produced wine. In 2012, the figure was estimated at around 30. The total Swedish wine production in 2008 was 5617 liters, with 3632 liters of red and 1985 liters of white wine, produced on a vineyard area of about 10 hectares. In 2021, the area has greatly increased and is estimated at somewhere around 150 ha.
The term “Swedish wines” has sometimes also been used improperly in Swedish-made wines with imported grape must as a raw material, or Swedish-Swedish fruit wines.
A Swedish wine from Skåne, from the grape variety Solaris.
Sweden is not part of the wild wine growing natural distribution area, and there is no longer, continuous tradition of viticulture. There is information that some viticulture took place in Swedish monastery gardens near the Catholic Church-established monasteries in Sweden. Minor plantations of vines in orangeries and other greenhouses have been around for a long time, and occasional vines of hardy varieties in particularly protected locations and favorable microclimates, such as against a house wall or wall facing south. To the extent that the vines have not been pure display specimens, they have produced table grapes intended for eating rather than grapes intended for winemaking.
However, it could easily be stated that with traditional rules of thumb for viticulture, regarding suitable latitudes and the required number of degree days, Sweden was too cold and located in the north for large-scale viticulture of the kind that occurs in classic European wine countries.
During the late 20th century, however, commercial viticulture gradually began to spread to more northern latitudes and in colder regions than the established wine regions, such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Denmark. That this trend came about is mainly due to two factors that facilitated viticulture in cooler areas:
New grape varieties, in the form of hybrid grapes, which are cold-resistant and easier to ripen (shorter time between flowering and harvest) than many classic European grape varieties. Many of these have been developed in Germany (WBIi Freiburg for example) as part of the search for vines that are resistant to various disease attacks, and the suitability for cold climates is a side effect of this.
PIWI (Fungal Resistant)
is the German name for these resistant grapes.
Cultivation techniques adapted to colder climates, among other things to make the vines survive the winter cold without damage. These technologies have been developed in Canada, among other places, where the established wine-growing areas are located at latitudes corresponding to Continental Europe, but where the winters can be at least as cold as in Northern Europe due to the inland climate.
It has been speculated that future climate change will strengthen the trend of increased viticulture in northern latitudes and provide better conditions.
The idea of starting a commercial viticulture in the open air, ie not in greenhouses in Sweden, gained traction with some pioneers in the 1990s. These pioneers seem to have received their more concrete ideas from two different sources – partly from their own work in wine-growing countries, and partly from observations of vineyards in Denmark, where the development has been much earlier than in Sweden. After the first establishments, the expansion thereafter seems to have taken place primarily in Skåne.
During the early 2000s, some Swedish wines have been sold via Systembolaget, initially via the order assortment. Today (2022), these wines are generally available via all of Systembolaget’s stores.
Distribution and sales
One of the major problems for all Swedish wine producers is distribution and sales. The restrictive Swedish alcohol policy means that Systembolaget has a monopoly on sales to consumers, and no exceptions are made for sales of self-produced wine. Sweden is thus the only EU country that does not allow farm sales of wines, which is the sales channel that smaller producers in established wine countries use.
As this has led to criticism of current alcohol policy and Systembolaget, in the summer of 2008 the possibility of selling in a local store was introduced under certain conditions. This requires a quote, but means that the normal range rules are not applied.
The expectations from the wine producers to be able to sell their wine from their own farm shop are high and in 2019 some members of parliament once again exercised a change in the legislation. This resulted in a new inquiry into farm sales, which was submitted to the government in December 2021.
Grape varieties allowed in Sweden
Within the framework of EU legislation on wine production, all grapes that are approved by the EU are also possible to grow in Sweden. The most commonly grown grape variety in Sweden is the green grape Solaris. It is very versatile and you can produce everything from dry to sweet wines as well as sparkling wines and orange wines.
To a certain extent, wines have been produced in Sweden based on grapes grown in other countries. They are made both from imported grape must and from imported fresh grapes. Since the products are produced in Sweden, but on imported raw materials, they are listed as EU wines by Systembolaget. The quality wines of most countries, and all reputable European wines are produced under protected designations of origin which also include the grape raw material.
Swedish commercial wine growers and producers
Arilds vingård, Arild
Apöja vingård, Vikbolandet
Assmåsa Gods, Sjöbo
Blaxsta vingård, Flen
Cehlin vingård, Kristianstad
Chateau Luna, Lysekil
Flyinge vingård, Flyinge
Flädie Mat och vingård, Bjärred
Fredholms vingård, Tyringe
Frillestads vingård, Påarp
Håks gård, Mörbylånga
Hällåkra Vingård, Anderslöv
Kullabergs vingård, Nyhamnsläge
Köpingbergs vingård, Köpingebro
Lottenlunds Estate, Allerum
Långmyre vineri, Burgsvik
Mellby nr 5 vingård
Skepparps vingård, Kivik
Skillinge Vingård/Domän Sånana, Skillinge
Snårestads vingård, Ystad
Stora Boråkra vingård, Karlskrona
Stora Horns vin, Hasslö
Särtshöga vingård, Väderstad
Södåkra vingård, Höganäs
Thora vingård, Båstad
Två Liljor, Gränna
Vejby vingård, Vejbystrand
Vingård Hall, Varberg
Vingården i Klagshamn, Klagshamn
Vingårdsparken Tygeå, Löderup
Vistakulle vingård, Husqvarna
Vittsjö vingård, Vittsjö
Wannborga mat och vingård, Köpingsvik
Åhus vingård, Åhus
Ästad vingård, Tvååker
Österlen vin, Löderup