Joar Sættem and Wenche Sættem harvest their grapes at the Lerkekåsa vineyard. Photo: Lerkåsa Vineyard
A couple that spent a decade setting up the world’s most northerly vineyard in Norway’s Telemark fruit-growing region has now put it up for sale.
“It’s not large production, but it is exclusive.," Joar Sættem, the owner of Lerkåsa vineyard
, told Norwegian state broadcaster NRK
. We make rosé wine, as far as I know, the most northerly in the world,”
Joar and his wife Wenche planted the first 400 vines on the plot in 2008 and then planted 1,300 more the following year, after which they have continued to replant, experimenting with different varieties until they found vines which could withstand the cold winter.
"We have experimented with different grape varieties that can withstand a little cold. Some have frozen to death, but we have found two usable varieties, Joar Sættem, told the Dagsavisen
newspaper back in 2016.
One variety Hasanski Sladki, came from Russia, and the other, Solaris, was developed in Germany.
Joar Sættem said he hoped to find a buyer who would continue his dream of trying to set up a working vineyard.
"We’re selling all the vines as part of the purchase, of course, so we hope there are more crazies like us out there. People who dare to bet on something new,” Wenche Sættem said.
Joar Sættem, who has a background as a geologist, said that the couple had set up the vineyard in the hope that climate change would make it possible to grow new fruit and grapes at a higher latitude.
Gvarv also has a microclimate which makes it one of the warmest places in Norway.
As well as vines, the couple also grows fruit, part of which they use to make fruit wines. They also have banqueting rooms and cabins for rent.
"It's rare for a vineyard to be on the open market, so I made an effort to get this role. I have never sold a vineyard before,” Robert Stenbro, from the broker Privatmegleren said.