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Study Cards on allowed, wine, german

Several adaptions (within the EU law allowed) are used in German wine making. Which are these and why are they used?
Due to the cool climate and mainly used in bulk wine production the following is allowed:
  • Enrichment; but not permitted for Prädikatswein
  • De-acidification
  • Acidification, only in the hottest years.
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Fermentation and maturation in Germany was traditionally done in large oak casks. What sizes are used, and for which style of wines?
  • For premium Riesling, to allow some oxygenation.
  • 100L Fuder from the Mosel
  • 1200L oval shaped Stück, from regions along the Rhine river.
  • German Oak from Pfalz is popular, but also from Central Europa
  • French oak also common  - Barriques.
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What is the current norm in Germany to ferment wine, in which vessels and why?
In stainless steel;
  • for inexpensive wines
  • to ease temperature control
  • ease of cleaning
  • extremely large vessels possible
  • no oxygen
  • no additional flavours
  • maintain primary aromas (not mask it)
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Sweetness in German wines is a common feature, how is this achieved? Which 3 methodes are used?
  1. 1960-1970s; fermented to dryness and then sweetened post fermentation by adding Süssreserve - allowed also in Prädikatswein
  2. RCGM; rectified concentrated Grape Must sweetening, only for Deutscher Wein allowed.
  3. By stopping the fermentation; naturally due to high sugar levels. For Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese.
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Why was sweetness is german wine important, what has changed?
  • It was often used to mask high acidity and bitterness of under-ripe grapes
  • Nowadays Riesling can ripen fully with new techniques giving balance between sugar, acidity and fruit.
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