New regulations in the German wine law

New pyramids of origin

With the new wine legislation, a more differentiated pyramid of origin has been created based on the existing quality pyramid. Deutscher Wein (German wine) forms the basis, followed by Landwein (Vin de pays) with a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI in English or g.g.A. in German) and the Qualitätswein or Prädikat wines above them with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO in English or g.U. in German).

Within the PDO wines, another four-level pyramid further differentiates the origin. The basis comprises wines produced from grapes grown in the entire winegrowing area. On the next level are wines from specified areas (former Bereich) or the former Großlagen (collective sites), which now also have to be labelled together with the expression "Region". The level above includes wines whose grapes come from a single district or village and at the top of the pyramid are the single vineyard wines, which express the terroir of an individual vineyard in a special way. In addition, it is also possible to indicate even smaller parcels within a single vineyard on the label, provided that these so-called parcel names (Gewannen) have been entered in the vineyard register.

With the new German wine ordinance, the terms Großes Gewächs and Erstes Gewächs can be used and regulated nationally for the first time. Their use, however, is only possible if strict criteria are observed and the intention is to strengthen the top quality of German wines of origin. The exact criteria are described in detail here.

Further information on the Landwein growing regions and the requirements for wines without geographical indication are summarized here.