German wines and vines. Reading the labels

Jul 4 2017, 10:31 | by Gambero Rosso

How much do you know about German wine culture? Here is a small glossary to help you understand more about wines and vines from Germany.

Classification of German wines is based on the Oechsle (Oe) scale, which measures by how many grams a liter of unfermented grape must exceeds the weight of a liter of water, on the principle that the difference depends on the sugar present in the must.

Kabinett: not less than 73° Oe.

Spatlese: not less than 85° Oe (from late harvest).

Auslese: not less than 90°Oe from hand harvesting of very ripe bunches that may also be affected by Botrytis cinerea.

Beerenauslese: not less than 125° Oe from harvests based on selection of grapes (overripe) affected by Botrytis cinerea.

Trockenbeerenauslese: not less than 150° Oe, berries (botrytized, dried on the vine or overripe) selected by hand

Eiswein:not less than 125° Oe from harvests carried out at temperatures not over -7° of bunches not affected by Botrytis cinerea.

Trockendry wine with a maximum of 9 grams per liter of residual sugar

Halbtrochenor Feinherbsemi-dry wine with a maximum of 18 grams per liter of residual sugar.

VDP Gutswein: indicates vineyards at the base of the production pyramid (they must be estate-owned and respect the rigid protocols of the association).

VDP Ortswein: village wines from traditional vineyards in specific zones planted with grape varieties typical of the region.

VDP Erste Lage: designates first-class vineyards with distinctive characteristics. They provide optimal growing conditions, as evidenced over a long period of time.

VDP Grosse Lage:the very best vineyards of Germany and the source of the finest wines that reflect site-specific characteristics.

VDP Grosses Gewächs (VDP GG): dry wines obtained from VDP Grosse Lage vineyards

Prädikat: sweet and/or fruity wines from VDP Grosse Lage vineyards

Alte Reben:old vineyards

Vineyard classifications from VDP (Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter), the association of German quality growers founded in 1910, the oldest in the world.


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