German Wine Classification

Definition - What does German Wine Classification mean?

The German Wine Classification system was implemented by German Wine Law in 1971. The classification of wines is dependent on the must (juice) and weight of grapes. It is a classification which places a strong emphasis on facts and standardization.

Ripeness levels of the German Wine Classification are known as "quality levels" determined by the ripeness of grapes and sugar level.

WineFrog explains German Wine Classification

The levels of the German Wine Classification fall under two categories; table wine, considered in many countries to be of lower quality and often are not imported, and "quality wine".

The quality wine is further divided into 2 types:

Qualitatswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA), or simply, a quality wine from a specific region. The region is required to be placed on the label, alcohol must be at least 7% and range in styles from semi-sweet to dry.

Pradikatswein, (QmP) or superior quality wine is a wine with specific attributes. These are Germany's top level wines, and these wines follow under the following names listed on labels. Each require a specific must weight:

  • Kabinett - A dry or semi-dry wine which is to be kept in a vintner's 'cabinet'
  • Spatlese - late harvest
  • Auslese - select harvest
  • Beerenauslese - select berry harvest
  • Eiswein - Ice Wine
  • Trockenbeerenauslese - select dry berry harvest
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