Denmark is one of the three countries which make up Scandinavia (Norway and Sweden are the other two, with Finland and Iceland the other Nordic countries). The vast majority of alcoholic beverages made in Denmark are beers. Ciders and similar products, plus spirits are also produced. The wine industry is in its infancy.
The country is wedged between the Baltic Sea and North Sea, at an average latitude of 56 degrees north. Throughout the 19th and 20th century Danish grapevines were often found in greenhouses, or occasionally climbing up south facing walls which retained heat through the night. Wine production was in any case illegal until 1999.
However, since the late 20th century, global warming (plus the legal change) a wine industry has begun to develop. A number of wine grape vineyards established in Jutland and on the islands of Zealand and Funen.
The most significant of these, in terms of volume produced, is the Dyrehøjgaard winery and distillery, home of the Røs brand. This was founded by Tom Christensen in 2007 at Røsnaes, the westernmost tip of Zealand.
In addition, Sven Møsgaard's Skaersøgaard winery, near the city of Aarhus on Jutland has gained international acclaim for various wines. This began with a silver medal in the 2007 Effervescent du Monde competition for the 2006 Dons Cuvée sparkling wine.
Cold weather varieties such as Madeleine Angevine (which is also used by winemakers in England) and Orion are preferred in Danish vineyards. They are sufficiently early ripening to achieve full flavour during the short warmth of summer. Solaris, Johanniter and Cabernet Cortis are also grown.
One of the few advantages of being at this high latitude is that the summer days are lengthened, lasting from 4am until 10pm. Fresh, crisp wines with reasonable depth are now being made which suggest that the vines are benefitting from this.
The Danish climate is particularly well suited to apple and cherry cultivation. These are the mainstays of the county's fruit wine production. Such wines also form the basis of various liqueurs.