Subjective quality results from the sum of sensory impressions, their subjective evaluation as well as the personal appreciation that is given to the wine. The legal (objective) dimension of quality, however, is based on generally binding standards. It is measurable and verifiable.
The legal concept of quality is laid down in the Wine Law and its associated regulations. The European Union's Wine Law forms the framework and, in certain cases, transfers authority to the wine-producing countries of the EU.
Therefore, wine law has similarities, but also national differences within the EU.
The division of the EU vineyard area into wine-growing zones takes account of the different climatic conditions for production and thus ensures a certain level of equal opportunity. The classification into quality categories creates the legal equivalence of corresponding designations of quality. The main differences lie in the determination and definition of quality.
New German Wine Law
On January 27, 2021, the tenth act to amend the wine law came into force. It forms the framework for a stronger profile of the origin of German wines. It follows the principle "the smaller the designated origin, the higher the promise of quality", with "German wine" on the base, then narrowing up to single vineyard wines at the peak. read more
New origin pyramid for Qualität & Prädikat wine
With the new wine legislation, a more differentiated pyramid of origin has been created. It is based on "Deutscher Wein", followed by Landwein with a protected geographical indication (PGI) and the Qualität or Prädikat wines above them with a protected designation of origin (PDO). read more
Quality Pyramid for German Wines
A more differentiated pyramid of origin has been created with "Deutscher Wein” forming the basis, followed by Landwein with a Protected Geographical Indication and Qualitäts and Prädikat wines above them with a Protected Designation of Origin. read more
Protected Designations of Origin
Germany protects the origin of its wines. These include the 13 wine-growing regions with protected designation of origin and the 26 Landwein growing regions with protected geographical indication. read more
We all know these terms: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. For many wine lovers, the Prädikat level of a quality wine which is based on the degree of Öchsle of the grapes, is the most important information on a wine label. read more
Proven quality in the glass
Germany’s top wines are not "born" as such because they come from certain locations or wineries. Rather, it is specifically about the proven quality in the glass. Every winemaker has to prove themself anew with every vintage and wine. read more
The amount of sugar that has developed in the grapes' juice, or must, is an important indication of ripeness. read more
The VDP Classification model
The VDP model is based on a private law statute for approx. 200 elite German wine estates. It defines the quality of a wine according to "terroir", read more