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?
- Formerly known as Qualitätswein mit Prädikat (QmP)
- More stringent regulations
- Must come exclusively from a Bereich (40 recognised, smaller than Anbaugebieten)
- Enrichment NOT permitted
- Grapes with the highest must weights
- Any grape variety allowed (most Riesling)
- Volume depends on the vintage (aprox half of that of Qualitätswein)
- 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)
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?
- 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?
- 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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