Deutscher Tafelwein / German Table Wine
Made from normally ripe and slightly under ripe grapes. Primarily consumed in Germany, very little is exported to the US. This wines have few restrictions and are not officially tested. No AP-number.
Landwein / Country wine
Superior “Tafelwein” must come from one of the 19 specified wine districts and must not contain more than 18 grams sugar per liter.
Qualitaetswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA) / Quality Wine of a Specified Appellation
These wines have to obey the regional appellation laws and are tested for compliance by an official committee and subsequently receive an AP-number. These laws ensure that the wine is from one specific wine-growing-region, is made of approved grape varieties and reached sufficient ripeness for a quality wine. Nevertheless, these wines are chaptalized (sugar is added to the juice before fermentation to increase the alcohol level). The chaptalization adds body to these otherwise lighter wines and makes them great simple food wines for a day-to-day consumption.
Qualitaetsweine mit Praedikat (QmP) / Quality Wine with Attributes
Representing graduating ripeness level, which are in ascending order: Kabinett, Spaetlese, Auslese, BA and TBA. All these wines are naturally produced, no chaptalization, i.e. no additional sugar.
Kabinett Minimum Must weight (Oechsle) approx. 70. Potential alcohol 8,8%
Usually light wines made of fully ripe grapes. Intended to be a light quaffing wine or to go with light food. Generally light in alcohol and calories. Can be dry, medium-dry or sweet.
Spaetlese Minimum Must weight (Oechsle) approx. 80. Potential alcohol 10%
Wines of superior quality made from grapes harvested after the normal harvest. These wines are more intense in flavor and concentration than quality wines and Kabinetts. Good with richer food or by themselves. The later harvest lets the grapes dry and ripen on sunny autumn days, which increases the intensity of the fruit and the flavors. Can be dry, medium-drey or sweet.
Auslese Minimum Must weight (Oechsle) 90. Potential Alcohol 12%
Harvested of selected, very ripe bunches. Noble wines, intense in bouquet and taste. Often resembling dessert wines and sweet wines. Can be dry, medium-dry or sweet. Dry Auslese wines
are similar to Alsatian Cru Rieslings.
Beerenauslese (BA) / Berries Select Picking Minimum Must weight (Oechsle) approx. 120
Harvest of individually selected, overripe berries. Remarkably rich, sweet dessert wines.
Eiswein / Ice Wine
Wines of at least BA intensity, made from grapes harvested and pressed while frozen. Truly unique wines with a remarkable concentration of fruity acidity and sweetness.
Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) / Dry Berries Select Picking
Harvest of individually selected berries that are overripe and dried up on the vine almost to raisins. Rich, sweet, luscious, honey-like wines.