German wine regulations (II) - Tafelwein, Qualitätswein and Pradikätswein

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Today let’s have a look at how German wines are classified.

Image: Arbeit im Weinberg, Bodenbearbeitung, provided by German Wine Institute

Classification

German wines can firstly be categorised into two classes: Table Wine (Tafelwein) and Quality Wine (Qualitätswein).

Quality Wine can be further divided into two categories. The first one is “simple quality wine”, or QbA (Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete). QbA wines will have to be produced using grapes from only one of the 13 wine-growing regions (Anbaugebiet).

The other Quality Wine category is quality wines with special attributes — Pradikätswein (the name for this category used to be QmP—Qualitätswein mit Prädikat).

The styles of Pradikätswein are defined largely based on the amount sugar in the grape juice. Among German wines of higher qualities, arguably the sweeter the wine is, the better and more expensive it is. This is largely different from other wine producing countries in Europe.

The styles of Pradikätswein are (in ascending order of quality): Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese (BA) and Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA). Eiswein, or ice-wine, also falls into this category, but produced using distinctive method. We will take a closer look to each one of them in tomorrow’s Tip of the Day.

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