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Germany: Dry Wines Ascendant


Following the market trend toward dry wines, a full 44 percent of all "Qualität" and "Prädikat" wines bottled in Germany last year were classified as "trocken" (dry). In estimates by the German Wine Institute (DWI), this represents an eight percent rise over a decade ago (2004). Over that same period, the market share occupied by off-dry wines saw only a one percent increase, from 21 to 22 percent.

These assessments are based on figures from the official wine classification agencies, which in 2014 tested 131,000 different wines (7.4 mn hectoliters) across Germany. The statistics show that 59 percent were white, 30 percent red and 11 percent rosé.

Roughly 90 percent of all annual produced wines are submitted for quality testing each year, with the remaining ten percent either marketed as land wines or used to produce sparkling wine. Compared with the five-year average, last year saw four percent fewer "Qualität" and "Prädikat" wines brought to market, which can be attributed to the below-average harvest yields in 2013.

The DWI emphasizes that all "Qualität" and "Prädikat" wines produced in Germany are subject to a sensory, analytical and labeling inspection before receiving approval for market release. An official inspection number may only be applied to the label once the necessary preconditions have been met. The last two digits of the "AP-Nr." indicate the year in which the wine was tested. This means for example that a 2011 red wine left to mature in the cask for an extended period may actually have a '14' at the end of the inspection number.