Specialitiy & Regional Wines
Taste & Quality
Specialty & Regional Wines
In addition to various types of wine whose names derive from their color and/or method of production, the wine law also permits a number of specialty and regional wines. Here are a few of the most popular:
- Liebfrau(en)milch: a mild (rather than dry or off-dry) Qualitätswein (QbA) from the Rheingau, Nahe, Rheinhessen or Pfalz regions, consisting at least 70% of the following white grape varieties: Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner or Kerner (a varietal designation on the label is not permitted).
- Riesling-Hochgewächs: a 100% Riesling QbA with at least 1.5% more natural alcohol (= ca. 10° Oechsle) than the minimum required by law. The wines must achieve at least three points during the official quality control examination compared with the normal minimum of 1.5 points.
- Affenthaler Spätburgunder Rotwein: a Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) quality wine from specific portions of the Baden region near Baden-Baden and Bühl.
- Ehrentrudis Spätburgunder Weißherbst: a Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) rosé quality wine from the Tuniberg district of Baden.
- Moseltaler: a Mosel-Saar-Ruwer QbA cuvée of the following white grape varieties: Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Elbling or Kerner (a varietal designation on the label is not permitted). The wines must have a residual sugar ranging from 15-30 grams/liter and a minimum aciditiy of 7 grams/liter. Uniform logo.
- RS (Rheinhessen Silvaner): a 100% Silvaner QbA with no more than 4 grams/liter residual sugar (dry) and a minimum acidity of 5 grams/liter. The wines must achieve at least three points during the official quality control examination as well as undergo additional sensory testing by a special panel. Uniform packaging.
- Charta Riesling: a 100% Rheingau Riesling of QbA or Prädikat quality with a residual sugar ranging from 9-18 grams/liter (off-dry) and a minimum acidity of 7.5 grams/liter. The wines must achieve higher starting must weights than required by law and undergo sensory testing by a special panel (in addition to the A.P.Nr. procedure). Uniform packaging.
- Loreley: a 100% Mittelrhein Riesling QbA with a residual sugar ranging from 9-18 grams/liter (off-dry). The wines must achieve at least 2.5 points during the official quality control examination. Uniform logo.
- Selection: dry regional wines (Rheinhessen, Baden) that are produced from traditional varieties, older vines (at least 15 years old), lower yields than prescribed by law and higher-than-average quality standards. Bottles bear a special seal or logo.
Other noteworthy initiatives:
- Premium wines (or series of wines) produced by individual estates, commercial wineries and/or cooperative wineries. Eye-catching bottles and labels as well as distinctive names are the hallmarks of these specialties.
- Ecologically friendly wines. Ecologically sound viticultural and cellar practices are not new in Germany. In fact, German vintners justifiably can be viewed as pioneers among their European counterparts in this regard. Goals and practices include:
- integrated viticulture strives to reduce the use of chemical and synthetic plant treatment substances as much as possible, and replacing them with biological or natural measures to control disease and pests;
- environmentally friendly viticulture seeks to preserve, or where necessary, reinstate, a habitat for plants and animals that are naturally part of a vineyard's ecosystem;
- ecological viticulture seeks to maintain and/or improve the fertility of the soil through natural, organic means rather than the use of chemical fertilizers.
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