Germany - Wine Laws and Regulations - Prädikatswein

7 important questions on Germany - Wine Laws and Regulations - Prädikatswein

What is in the German wine law a Prädikatswein? What are the regulations?

  1. Formerly known as Qualitätswein mit Prädikat (QmP)
  2. More stringent regulations
  3. Must come exclusively from a Bereich (40 recognised, smaller than Anbaugebieten)
  4. Enrichment NOT permitted
  5. Grapes with the highest must weights
  6. Any grape variety allowed (most Riesling)
  7. Volume depends on the vintage (aprox half of that of Qualitätswein)
  8. Prädikat means "distinction", it has six levels defined by minimum must weight.

What does Kabinett means in German Wine Law for Prädikatsweine?

  • Grapes with the lowest must weight (but grapes have high must weight still, enrichment not permitted).
  • Legal minimum is 7% abv (with residual sugar)
  • Generally 12% abv
  • dry to medium-sweet in style
  • Lightest in body and highest in acidity

What does Spätlese mean in German Wine Law. What are the criteria?

  • Late harvest is the meaning
  • Harvest around 2 weeks later than Kabinett
  • Fully ripened grapes
  • Greater concentration (stone fruit in Riesling)
  • Slightly higher alcohol
  • Fuller body
  • Dry to medium-sweet
  • Minimum 7% abv (similar to Kabinett and Auslese)
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What does Auslese mean in German Wine Law? What are the criteria?

  • Specially-selected grapes, extra-ripe bunches
  • both hand harvest and mechanically allowed
  • Riper and more concentrated than Spätlese
  • Min 7% abv (same as Kabinett and Spätlese)
  • potential 11-14,5% abv
  • Honey, sometimes affected by botrytis (complexity)
  • Wines can still be dry (last category)
  • Long ageing potential (balance acidity and sweetness)
  • Wide range; sometimes additional labelling terms to indicate sweetness.

What does BA/Beerenauslese in German Wine Law stands for? What are the criteria and characteristics?

  • Prädikatswein
  • Individually selected berries
  • Must be harvested by hand, labour intense
  • Always sweet
  • Minimum alcohol is 5,5%abv (same as Eiswein and TBA)
  • potential alcohol 14,5-17% abv
  • Botrytis not needed, but typical feature
  • Riesling BA: very ripe, dried stone fruit.
  • Low yields, only in suitable years for noble rot.
  • Rare and expensive.

What is Eiswein in the German Wine Law? What are its characteristics?

  • An own Prädikat category since 1982.
  • Minimum must weight similar to BA
  • Grapes must be frozen! Temp below 7c
  • Harvest (by hand) from November to February
  • Vintage is the year in which the harvest started.
  • Pressing while still frozen. High levels of sugar and acids.
  • Artificial freezing not allowed.
  • Only very healthy grapes.
  • Riesling Eiswein: high acidity, concentrated pure peach, grapefruit.
  • Small amounts, rare, premium priced.
  • risk of disease and predators

What means TBA/Trockenbeerenauslese in German Wine law and what are the characteristics?

  • Prädikatswein
  • Affected by botrytis
  • Raisins dried on the vine
  • High must weight > 20% potential alcohol
  • Rarely above 8%abv
  • Balanced high acidity, long ageing potential
  • Sweet wines
  • Very low yields, only in suitable years
  • Most expensive wines of Germany

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