Definition - What does Oechsle mean?

Oechsle is the name for the scale used in Germany to measure the amount of sugar and other solid particulates in grape juice. It helps determine the ripeness and potential alcohol during crush. It is based on specific gravity and the density of the must, similar to the hydrometer scale.

WineFrog explains Oechsle

When the Oechsle scale is used, it is able to measure the amount of dissolved sugar in grape juice (must).

The Oechsle scale is also the most basic form for classifying German wines. All German (and most Austrian) wines are categorized according to the original sugar density of the grape must during harvest. The wines are ranked as follows:

  • Kabinett - 67-82o Oe
  • Spätlese - 76-90o Oe
  • Auslese - 83-100o Oe
  • Beerenauslese and Eiswein - 110-128o Oe
  • Trockenbeerenauslese - 150-154o Oe
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