Bred in 1969 in Württemberg and named after a local poet, Justinius Kerner, it is a crossing of Trollinger and Riesling. Compared with Riesling, Kerner can grow in sites with less favorable conditions and guarantees a higher yield.
While in 1970 the grape started to spread across several winegrape areas in Germany and reached its maximum in 1990 (7,5%), meanwhile only 2,6% of all vineyards are planted with Kerner.
Moreover, it ripens later than Müller-Thurgau but earlier than Riesling. The wines are fresh, racy and fruity — not unlike Riesling — yet milder in acidity, with a more pronounced bouquet, often with a Muscat tone. The grape is planted in many German wine regions, but especially in the Pfalz and in Rheinhessen, and also in Württemberg and the Mosel.