GERMANY

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.

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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