Speciality & Regional Wines

Specialty and 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. These have a clear and protected name and are produced according to defined regulations. Here are a few of the most popular:

Classic and Selection

The most important type of wines include the Classic and Selection wines. Both have to meet different quality and taste requirements. In addition, individual growing regions determine which grape varieties are permitted for the production of these types of wines specific to their region.


Rheingau: ‘Erstes Gewächs’ (First growth)

The Rheingau Winegrowers' Association is responsible for and owner of the quality seal ‘Erstes Gewächs’. They have scientifically assessed the region and classified particularly high-quality areas for production of ‘Erstes Gewächs’wines. Other requirements are that only Riesling and Pinot Noir varieties are permitted; yields are limited to a maximum 50 hl / ha; hand picking is mandatory; the must has to be suitable for a Spätlese (late harvest); a minimum alcohol content of 12% volume for Riesling or 13% for Pinot Noir; and residual sugar content a maximum of 13gms for Riesling or 6 gms for Pinot Noir.

Riesling Hochgewächs

The designation Riesling Hochgewächs is permitted in all growing regions if the wine is made exclusively from Riesling grapes, the must weight is at least 10 ° Oechsle higher (1.5% more natural alcohol ) than the minimum required by law and that at least 3 points are given during the official quality control examination compared with the normal minimum of 1.5 points.

Liebfraumilch

Liebfrau(en)milch is a sweet white quality wine (QbA) from the Nahe, Pfalz, Rheingau and Rheinhessen wine regions, which is made from at least 70% Riesling, Silvaner, Müller-Thurgau or Kerner grapes and has a taste typical of these grape varieties. It is not permitted to indicate the grape variety or the name of a sub-growing region on the label only the main wine region. 

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Regional wines

There are also a number of wines with a taste profile typical for the region that have simplified labels to make it easier for consumers to choose a wine. The typicity must be demonstrated in a sensory test by official wine inspectors.

’DC Palatinate’ designates high quality dry wines from five grape varieties typical of the Palatinate - Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Dornfelder.

‘Riesling S’ indicates harmoniously dry steep-slope wines from the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer.

‘RS Rheinhessen Silvaner’ is what the winemakers in Germany's largest growing region call their dry classic. Two decades ago they created this new wine style through quality enhancement in the vineyard and modern cellar management. The aromas of fruit and meadow herbs, a harmonious fruity flavour and lively acidity is typical of this 100% Silvaner QbA RS.

The 'Selection Rheinhessen' has been on the market for more than 15 years. The criteria for this premium wine is classic grape varieties from old vines, reduced yields and selective harvesting by hand. The current vintage collection is presented every year and more information can be found at rheinhessen.de.

The regional wine 'Justinus K' owes its name to the doctor and poet Justinus Kerner. These wines must comply with guidelines in the vineyard including a late harvest for fully ripe, aromatic grapes, as well as in the cellar. This gourmet wine is mainly offered by Württemberg wine producers.

Various winegrowers in the Middle Rhine region sell the quality semi-dry wine ‘Loreley-Riesling’. Only quality wines rated above average are allowed to use the Loreley label.