A Short Wine Compendium

Weinlese an der Loreley
Wine harvest on the Rhine


A term that wine lovers will keep running across in the UNESCO World Heritage

Valley. It was introduced in 2001 and denotes a new generation of wines

which must have the following characteristics: fruity, dry, typical varietal wines in the medium price range. Their pleasant character complements a wide range of dishes.


A speciality from the Rheingau. The Rheingau Charter Association was founded almost 25 years ago by 50 wine growing estates. Its declared aim is the cultivation of classic  Rheingau Riesling wines to conform with strict quality 

criteria. The dry to medium-dry wines are pressed exclusively from Riesling 

grapes and sold in slim brown bottles with the characteristic Romanesque

double-arch emblem on capsule andback label.







It is the milky white colour of goose down and even after you have enjoyed

copious quantities, your step will still be

converted into alcohol. Although very easy to down, it does contain alcohol and is available in October and November each year.

as light as a feather - we’re talking about the cloudy embryonic wine which is drunk while still fermenting. Federweisser contains carbon dioxide and the must sugar that has not yet been


This term is being increasingly used for

German wines. The flavour definition is

not quite clear, but it is usually applied to wines of medium dry to medium isweet disposition. Some wine growers use the term “

feinherb” for semi-sweet, but not sweet wines.

Grosses Gewächs/Erstes Gewächs (Rheingau)

Rare but first-class. The name was creat

of their region and was modelled after

The geographical location plays a de

ed for top level wines which are typicalthe French classification “Premier Cru”.cisive role in the classification process.


bottles with uniform labelling.

Grosses Gewächs wines are top quality dry wines from prime vineyard locations, produced according to very strict criteria and sold in specially embossed



is the first level of the Prädikat or top quality wines in the German classification system. It is followed by Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein. For each of the wine-producing regions and for each grape variety there are different requirements for ‘must weight’, which is a measure of the density of  sugar in the grape juice or ‘must’ and which reflects the ripeness of the grapes. Kabinett wines have the lowest must weight and are therefore the lightest. Prädikat wines follow the lower ranking Qualitätsweine bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA) wines (‘quality wines from a specific region’).


Some bottles of wine contain a small deposit of tartrate crystals (‘

These are harmless and neutral tasting and occur when tartaric acid reacts

with potassium or calcium. The tartrate crystals form perfectly naturally

during the winemaking process and

Weinstein’).are neither a flaw nor do they harm the quality of the wine.


Terroir describes the interplay of aspects such as climate, sun, topography,

geology and irrigation in a particular vineyard site, which gives the wines

their own unique character. Only a very few top vineyards fulfil the criteria

needed to produce first-class wines with terroir character, whilst the winemaker

himself has an important contribution to make through rigorous yield restriction and a stock of old, deep-rooted vines.

"A glass of the best"

The regional award “Der beste Schoppen am Mittelrhein” is an initiative aimed at

bringing together the Middle Rhine’s winegrowers and restaurateurs, a Schoppenwein being an ‘open wine’ sold by the glass or ‘Schoppen’. The central

concept is the combination of goodqualit  wines with local cuisine. The

Schoppen is an ‘opener’: it is usually the first wine people order when they visit a wine tavern, inn, restaurant or hotel to drink a glass of wine.

Weinforum Mittelrhein / Ahr

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