What is the climate of Germany?
What are some weather hazards that Germany faces?
- Spring frost
- Summer hail
- Heavy summer rain
In Germany, are the best vineyards planted on steep slopes or on the valley floor?
The best sites in Germany are always planted on steep slopes, which usually have very slatey or stony soils.
What is the predominant aspect for Germany's best vineyard sites?
Southerly aspect so the vineyards receive the most possible sunlight.
Why is it beneficial for a vineyard in Germany to be proximal to a river?
Because the river not only reflects sunlight onto the vines, and the air movement from the river helps reduce frost threat and increase air circulation as well.
Germany's 4 categories of wine:
In ascending order of quality, they are:
- Deutscher Wein
What is Deutscher Wein?
Deutscher Wein is the beginning rung of quality wine.
On the label it does not get a georgraphic indication other than "Germany."
It must be made of 100% German grapes.
What is Landwein?
Landwein is Germany's IGP level, the equivalent to France's Vin de Pays.
It must be trocken (dry) or halbtrocken (half-dry) in style.
What is Qualitätswein?
Qualitätswein (PDO) is a category that also includes Prädikatswein. 96% of German wine production and almost all exports fall under Qualitätswein.
Qualitätswein may be chaptalized.
What is Prädikatswein?
Prädikatswein is a PDO category and a subset of Qualitätswein.
Prädikatswein may NOT be chaptalized.
How are PGI-level wines labelled in Germany?
What 2 Germany categories are the equivalent to PDO?
- Prädikatswein (Kabinett through TBA)
Wine regions in Germany are known as what?
How many are there, and which 7 are the most important?
Wine regions in Germany are known as anbaugebiete.
There are 13 anbaugebiete in Germany. The most important 7 are:
Is Riesling an early ripener or a late ripener?
Riesling is a late ripener.
What other white grapes grow in Germany besides Riesling?
- second most planted white grape (after Riesling)
- third most planted white grape
What are Germany's black/red grape varietals?
- Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir)
What is Pinot Noir called in Germany?
Where does it grow well?
It thrives in warmer vineyard sites, and it grows well in Baden and Pfalz.
What are the tributaries of the Mosel River?
The central part of the Mosel, known as the Middle Mosel, is where some of the best known villages are located that produce top-quality Rieslings.
Name 4 villages.
Some top Mosel producers include:
- Maximin Grünhauser
- J.J. Prüm
- Willi Schaefer
There are 2 rivers in the Rheingau. Which is in the east and which is in the west?
West: Rhine River
East: Main River
What is the name of the hills to the north of the Rheingau that help protect the region from cold winds?
Name 3 villages in the Rheingau that are famous for their Rieslings.
Spätburgunder is known to grow well in which Rheingau village?
Top Rheingau producers:
- August Kessler
- Georg Breuer
- Robert Weil
- Johannes Leitz
- Peter Jacob Kuhn
- Eva Fricke
- Schloss Johannisberg
Which anbaugebiet is the largest wine-growing region in Germany?
Some of the fullest-bodied Rieslings in Germany are from this area in the Rheinhessen.
The Rheinterrasse, with the production centered around the village of Nierstein.
Top Rheinhessen producers:
- Michael Teschke
Name the village in Nahe producing superior-quality Riesling.
Top Nahe producers include:
The Pfalz in Germany is seen as an extention of this region in France.
The Vosges Mountains in Alsace extend into Germany where their name changes to the Haardt Mountains. The Pfalz is in the rainshadow of the Haardt Mountains, making it one of the sunniest and driest regions in Germany -- similar to Alsace.
Which 2 villages in Pfalz produce top-tier wines?
Top Pfalz producers:
- von Winning
- Reichsrat von Buhl
Which anbaugebiet is the warmest?
It is also the most southerly anbaugebiet.
Which grapes thrive in Baden?
Vineyards in Baden are most concentrated in which 2 areas?
What is particular about the area of Kaiserstuhl?
It's on an extinct volcano (volcanic soil, which retains heat well).
High-quality, full-bodied Spätburgunder is made in Kaiserstuhl.
Franken isn't known for its Riesling. What grape is it known for?
It is planted in the warmest sites.
Which 2 anbaugebiete have the right to bottle in a Bocksbeutel?
Producers in Baden and Franken may bottle in Bocksbeutel, a bottle shaped like a flask.
What is the VDP, and what does it do in Germany?
The VDP, or Verband Deutscher Prädikats-und Qualitätsweinguter, was originally founded in 1910 as Verband Deutscher Naturweinversteigerer as a group that promoted unchaptalized wines.
Today the VDP goes much further; it is an association of roughly 200 wine estates that focuses on top-tier, quality-driven, terroir-oriented viticulture and winemaking.
Read more about the VDP here.
What did the German Wine Law of 1971 do?
The German Wine Law of 1971 condensed 30,000 einzellagen into 2600 registered vineyards, each at least 5ha in size.
What is a grosslage? Give an example.
A grosslage is a small group of contiguous vineyards.
Piesporter Michelsberg in Mosel is an example of a grosslage.
There are 160 grosslagen in Germany.
What is an einzellage?
An einzellage is a single vineyard.
There are roughly 3000 einzellagen in Germany.
What is an alleinbesitz? Give an example.
An alleinbesitz is a monopole - a single vineyard owned and bottled by one winery.
Dönnhoff's Oberhauser Brücke is an example of an alleinbesitz.
All Prädikatswein must have an AP number, or Amtliche Prüfungsnummer -- what is this?
An Amtliche Prüfungsnummer is an official exam number.
An AP number is a series of 5 sets of numbers on the front or back label indicating the wine has been approved by a tasting panel.
The sets' meanings, reading from left to right, are:
- the location of the examination board or testing station;
- the village in which the wine was produced;
- the unique code for the producer;
- the unique number of the bottling, or lot number;
- the year in which the wine was tested, typically one calendar year after the vintage.
Prädikat wines in Germany are classified by their must weight. What does that mean, and what are the levels?
Must weight is the sugar levels in grape juice. Must weight increases as ripeness increases.
Prädikat levels and their minimum Öchsle Range (must weight):
Kabinett - 70-85° Öchsle
Spätlese - 80-95° Öchsle
Auslese - 88-105° Öchsle
Beerenauslese - 110 - 128° Öchsle
Eiswein - 110 - 128° Öchsle
Trockenbeerenauslese - 150-154° Öchsle
What does Grosses Gewächs (GG) mean and what are its requirements? Give an example.
Grosses Gewächs translates to "great growth" or Grand Cru. It is a term used only for Grosse Lagen (the very best vineyards).
A Grosses Gewächs wine therefore is a dry wine from a Grosse Lage vineyard.
Fun fact: grapes destined for GG are harvested at Spätlese-level ripeness.
Example: Dönnhoff Felsenberg Felsentürmchen Riesling Grosses Gewächs
Trocken and Grosses Gewächs - both mean dry, but how are they different?
Trocken is used for a dry wine at Erste Lage (read: 1er Cru) level or below.
Grosses Gewächs is used for a dry wine from a Grosse Lage (read: Grand Cru) vineyard. GG + a cluster of grapes will be embossed near the neck of the bottle.
What is the crossing of Dornfelder?
Helfensteiner x Heroldrebe
Dornfelder is Germany's second most planted red
What is the difference between halbtrocken and feinherb?
Halbtrocken and feinherb both mean off-dry.
However, halbtrocken is the official but unpopular term while feinherb is the popular but unofficial term.
If there is no indication of trocken, feinherb, or Prädikat on a German wine label, how can one tell if the wine will have residual sugar or not?
By looking at the alcohol level: the lower the alcohol, the greater the residual sugar.
Wines with perceptible residual sugar will have alcohol levels betwen 7-10.5%.
Wines that are perceived as dry will have alcohol levels between 11-13%.
Erzeugerabfüllung or Gutsabfüllung means:
What is the German word for Botrytis cinerea?
What is the major difference between TBA and Eiswein?
TBA is always affected by Botrytis cinerea (Edelfäule).
Eiswein is not affected by Botrytis cinerea. The grapes are left on the vine to raisinate and are picked at -8ºC (18°F) or colder, then pressed.
Is it necessary for wines labelled Beerenauslese (BA) to have been affected by Botrytis, or Noble Rot?
No, Noble Rot is not necessary for a wine to be labelled Beerenauslese (BA).
Name the parent grapes for the following crossing: Müller-Thurgau.
What is Müller-Thurgau also known as in Germany?
Müller-Thurgau = Riesling x Madeline Royal
Rivaner is another name for Müller-Thurgau in Germany.
In which 2 (of the 7 most important) anbaugebiete is Riesling the only permitted grape variety for GG wines?
In which 2 (of the 7 most important) anbaugebiete are Riesling and Spätburguner the only two permitted grape varieties for GG wines?
In the Pfalz, which grapes are allowed to be Grosses Gewächs (GG)?
In Franken, which grapes are allowed to be Grosses Gewächs (GG)?
If a grosslage or einzellage is listed on a German wine label, what minimum % must be from either?
What is the highest prädikat category that can be used for dry wines?
What is Liebfraumilch?
It is an affordable, semi-sweet wine that can be made from a variety of white grapes (Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, etc.).
Liebfraubmilch translates to "mother's milk" in English.
Liebfraumilch originated in which anbaugebiet?
Liebfraumilch can be produced in which 4 anbaugebiete?
What is Süssreserve and what does it do?
Is it used on high-quality wines or lower-quality wines?
Süssreserve is unfermented grape juice which is added to fermented wine to sweeten it.
Süssreserve is used on lower-quality wines.
Süssreserve has to be from the same vineyard or site and the same grape variety as the wine it's sweetening, and it has to be of at least the same quality.
How do Prädikatsweine retain their sweetness if they cannot have süssreserve added to them?
Prädikatsweine will retain sweetness because the winemaker will stop the fermentation before the yeasts have converted all the sugar into alcohol.