The majority of the German wine is produced in the west along the Rhine river where 6 of Germany’s 13 wine regions (Anbaugebiete) are established.
German wine is based on the Riesling grape, which here makes aromatic, fruity and elegant white wines that can vary from very crisp and dry to well-balanced and sweet with aromatic concentration, while Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) is the main red varietal.
German wines fall into a classification depending on their quality, from Tafelwein, Landwein, Qualitatswein Bestimmter Anbaugebeite (QbA) to Pradikatswein. QbA and Pradikatswein are then subdivided in Anbaugebiet (wine region), Bereich ( a small area inside the wine region “Anbaugebiet“), Grosslage ( vineyards inside the small area “Bereich“), and finally the Einzellage ( single vineyard, situated inside the “Grosslage”).
Of the 13 major wine regions (Anbaugebiete) the most important that produce most quality wines are: Mosel, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Nahe, Ahr. These 13 wine regions (Anbaugebiete) are divided into 39 districts (Bereiche) which are also divided into vineyard sites (Großlagen).
German wines Quality Classification
- Deutscher Wine
- Land Wein
- Qualitatswein Bestimmter Anbaugebiete ( QbA)
- Qualitatswein mit Pradikat ( QmP) further divided based on sugar level:
- KABINETT: grapes picked during normal harvest
- SPATLESE: “Late Harvest”, fully ripened, greater intensity
- AUSLESE: “Select” a step up in richness and intensity
- BEERENAUSLESE (BA): “berry selected”, affected by noble rot
- EISWEIN: grapes are left to freeze and then pressed
- TROCKENBEERENAUSLESE (TBA): “dry berry”, richest & sweetest style