GRADES AND QUALITY LEVELS

THE LABEL IS DEFINITIVE

The grade of a wine must be stated on the wine's label and is the most important of all legal requirements. German wine law differentiates within the quality levels much stronger than other countries where wine is cultivated. Keeping to the fixed geographical origin, following established production conditions, cultivating particular varieties of vine or adhering to the limits for maximum yield per hectare are decisive factors. Every German wine must be declared with one of the quality designations.

Schloss Wackerbarth wines are available with the following quality levels:

QUALITY WINE OF CERTIFIED ORIGIN B. A.

»Quality wine of certified origin from set cultivation areas« (Q.b.A.) is currently the largest group of German wines. Quality wines of certified origin must originate completely from one of thirteen German cultivation areas. Minimum limits for the natural alcohol content are specified for each quality wine of certified origin from each different type of vine and each cultivation area. The minimum must weight lies between 50 and 72 degrees Oechsle, depending on the region.Quality wines, like table wines, can be enriched. The addition of sugar prior to fermentation - called chaptalization in France - must be kept within a legally defined framework. Between 20 and 28 grams of additional alcohol may be produced by enrichment, depending on the cultivation area and type of vine.

SPECIAL QUALITY WINES

The highest standards are set when checking these wines with regards to type, maturity, harmony and elegance. In this case nothing may be enriched. Depending on the extent of maturity and additional conditions, special quality wines are awarded one of six titles which must be stated on the label. Varying ranges are permitted for the stipulated minimum must weight, based on the type of vine and cultivation area.

All titles in order, starting with the lowest

Spätlese - late harvest

Mature and elegant wines with fine fruit that can only be harvested no earlier than seven days after the beginning of the general wine harvest

Auslese - select harvest

Noble wines from fully ripe grapes, unripe berries are removed

Beerenauslese - select berry harvest

Full fruity wines made from overripe grapes affected by noble rot are already rarities as the Botrytis fungus (noble rot) contributes to the wine's quality and such wines cannot be harvested every year. Select berry harvest wines can be stored for decades.

Trockenbeerenauslese - select dry berry harvest

The select dry berry harvest wine is made with raisin-like, shrivelled grapes affected by noble rot. They are the crown of the quality pyramid. Sweet with the consistency of honey, this wine can age over decades.

Eiswein - ice wine

Made with grapes which have reached the same minimum weight as the select berry harvest must. The grapes are harvested frozen under - 7° C and are pressed while frozen so that only the fruit concentrate is squeezed out.

Sächsisches Staatsweingut GmbH
Wackerbarthstraße 1
01445 Radebeul
Tel. 03 51.89 55-0
Fax 03 51.89 55-150