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Flashcards in Germany General/History Deck (64):

Who introduced vitis vinifera to the Germans and when?

The Romans
Near the end of the 3rd century, Emperor Probus overturned Domitian’s 92 CE ban on new vineyard plantings, and viticulture followed the Romans into provinces north of the Alps.


Who owned the largest vineyard holdings during the Middle Ages in Germany?

Cistercians of Burgundy founded the famous Kloster Eberbach monastery in the Rheingau in 1136, where they amassed the largest vineyard holdings in Europe by the end of the Middle Ages (476 AD-1500), with over 700 acres of vines.


Who ended the Church's influence over viticulture in Germany?

Napoleon after defeating Germany (aka) Holy Roman Empire. Secularized in 1803. As in Burgundy, the Napoleonic Code led to fractured ownership and a gradual, significant splintering of vineyards.


With reorganization and registration mandated from the German Wine Law of 1971, what was the drop in Einzellagen?

From over 30,000 to 2,700. Viewed, in retrospect, as the most damaging aspect of the 1971 wine law.


Define Ortsteil "ORT-sty-yul". Give two examples.

Ortsteil: a historic part of a vineyard or a clos (such as the walled Steinberg vineyard within Hattenheim, or Schloss Vollrads in the Rheingau.)

A German term referring to an area that’s part of a larger community (as a suburb is of a city), yet is independent of that larger community. For example, the village of ERBACH is an Ortsteil of Eltville. Esteemed vineyards like Schloss Johannisberg and Steinberg are classified as Ortsteil; therefore, unlike other vineyards, they aren’t required to put the name of their village (the larger community) on bottle labels. For example, wines from the Steinberg vineyard, which is part of HATTENHEIM, are labeled simply “Steinberg,” whereas wines from the neighboring Schützenhaus vineyard are labeled “Hattenheimer Schützenhaus.”


What is the minimum size of an einzellagen in Germany? What are the exceptions?

Minimum five hectares.

The Doctor vineyard in Bernkastel in the Mosel

The Kirchenstück and Freundstück vineyards in Forst in the Pfalz

The Schloss Vollrads ortsteil vineyard in Rheingau


Who made the first Eiswein in Germany? When?

Schloss Johannisberg in 1858


Who "discovered" Spätlese? When?

1775, when harvesters at Schloss Johannisberg in the Rheingau found that, despite their appearance, grapes afflicted with edelfäule (noble rot) made pretty good wine.


What is Hock?

Term for the best wine produced along the Middle Rhine in the 19th century, often sold at prices above even first growth Bordeaux. "Hock" expanded to become a generic term for all German wines.


Name five rivers in Germany where wine is grown

Mosel, Rhine, Main, Nahe, and Elbe


What is Liebfraumilch? ("LEEB-frow-milch")

Which regions can it be blended from? (4)

Sweet, cheap, characterless beverage, usually produced from Müller-Thurgau, Liebfraumilch cannot carry a grape name on the label, and it may be blended from vineyards throughout Rheinhessen, Nahe, Rheingau, and the Pfalz—not a recipe for typicity or complexity. It was a resounding commercial success, but almost singlehandedly destroyed the image of German wine internationally. It became the face of German wine to the outside world—in the 1980s, over 60% of all German vinous exports had Liebfraumilch printed on the label.

The Liebfrauenstift-Kirchstück (Our Lady’s Cloister) in Worms from which the name Liebfraumilch was derived continues to be a source of good Riesling.


What are two major viticultural concerns in Germany?

Reliability of ripening and susceptibility to frost.


What is the second most planted red grape in Germany?

Dornfelder, it is also the most prominent German red crossing.


What are Germany's 13 anbaugebiete?

Hessische Bergstraße ("HES-zhig-zig-BERG STRA-zeh")
Saale-Unstrut ("SAH-lay UN-stroot")


What was Moselle?

By the end of the 1800s, fruity and crisp white wines from the Mosel River region evolved as a category distinct from generic Hock.


What is Flurbereinigung? “FLUR-bur-RHINE-in-GUNG”

Refers to wholesale restructuring to which most of Germany’s vineyards have been subjected since the 1950s, involving improved accessibility, grading, consolidation of growers’ highly fragmented holdings, and of course replanting.
PROS- Consolidated parcels of land previously divided, inaccessible vineyards could employ machines and increase production.
CONS-Eliminated many of the centuries old terraces critical to winegrowing on some of Germany’s most vertical slopes and leveled uneven vineyards with construction waste. Also allowed Muller-Thurgau to become the dominant grape variety.


What is Süssreserve? How is it different from chaptalization?

"Sweet reserve" sterilized fresh (unfermented) grape must. Different from chaptalization, as chaptalization is adding sugar to unfermented grape must used to raise the potential alcohol of a wine before fermentation, while Süssreserve is added after fermentation.


What is Grosses Gewächs?
When was it established?
Must weight equivalent?
Aging white and red?
Other requirements?

"Great Growth"; A prestige wine category devised by Germany's VDP since 2002, Grosses Gewächs wine is a dry wine from a Grosse Lage vineyard, identified by the appearance of the trademarked acronym “GG” on the label (terminology is not recognized by German wine law).

-Grape variety is restricted
-Max. yield 50 hl/ha
-Wines are produced according to traditional methods
-Vineyards, cellars, and wines are subject to strict inspections
-Minimum must weight equivalent to Spätlese
-Selective hand harvesting
-Wines are aged prior to release: Whites released after -September 1st in the year following the vintage. Red category requires an additional year of aging and at least 12 months in wood.


What is Scheurebe?

Riesling x Bukettrebe "boo-KET-ray-ba" (a silvaner x schiava grossa crossing)


What wine categories are below QbA and Prädikatswein?

What particular style is made in one of these categories?

Landwein=PGI category; must originate in one of 26 broad regions and must be trocken or halbtrocken in style

Deutscher Wein=Wines without geographic indication; must be 100% German in origin, or a statement must be included on the label naming the countries that contribute to the blend. Deutscher Wein may state variety on the label.
-Most Sekt, or German sparkling wine is made at this level of quality and is produced by the Charmat Method. Sekt may be labeled as QbA if it is produced from traditional grapes grown in one of the thirteen anbaugebiete of Germany.


What was the Charta symbol?

icon of three Roman arches—styled from the balcony of Graue Haus, in Winkel


What do terms Classic and Selection indicate?

These are legal terms defined by the state-affiliated German Wine Institute at Mainz

Classic-intended to replace halbtrocken; Single varietal wines considered "harmoniously dry" with a max residual sugar content of 15 g/l. Must omit any mention of a vineyard on the label. Min alcohol content of 12% (11.5% in Mosel)

Selection wines-intended to replace trocken; Are single vineyard wines from a single varietal considered "superior dry" with a maximum rs content of 9 g/l (12 g/l for Riesling) Yields are restricted to 60 hl/ha. Must weight for Selection wines must be equivalent to Auslese and vineyards are hand-harvested. May not be released till September 1 of the year following harvest.


What is a gemeinden?


a commune or village. Gemeinde (appended with an er, which converts it to an adjective) precedes that of the grosslage or einzellage. For example, the Einzellage named Mäuerchen associated with the village named Geisenheim appears on the label as "Geisenheimer Mäuerchen"


What is an anbaugebiete?



What year was Charta formed and what year did it assimilate into the Rheingau branch of VDP?

1984 and 1999


Where is the Geisenheim Wine Institute?



When was Spätlese, Auslese, and Eiswein first discovered?

Spätlese 1775
Auslese 1787
Eiswein 1858


What is the European Economic Community (EEC)?

The predecessor to the EU. Created in 1957, West Germany, France, and Italy were its principal founders. Europe's recent bloody past convinced many of the necessity of alliance and economic integration. Their shared goal of economic integration soon extended to the agricultural sector, and by 1970, to wine.


What is the history/meaning of the Goldkapsule?

In the Mosel and Rheingau producers lost an informal means of classifying Spätlesen and Auslesen with the passage of the 1971 wine law. The law banned the use of familiar terms like feine, feinste, and hochfeine, historically added to indicate reserve wines within a larger category, so some producers turned to a bit of code. To indicate a higher level of sweetness and distinction beyond a wine’s labeled Prädikat, vintners added a golden capsule.

In some cases, an even longer golden capsule (lange Goldkapsule) indicates an even rarer and special selection.

The capsule is also linked to the level of botrytis; for instance, a wine that reached Beerenauslese in the eyes of the law may be "declassified" to Auslese with a Goldkapsule because it showed more pure varietal character than the higher Prädikat would typically demonstrate.

In the Mosel, producers developed a second code to distinguish among different tiers of wine within a Prädikat and from the same vineyard: the star system. To indicate reserve bottlings, producers may apply one to three stars (*, **, ***), sometimes in conjunction with a Goldkapsule.


What have been the updates to the 1971 wine law?

1982- update introduced the category of Landwein and designated Eiswein as an independent Prädikat level.

2000-legally sanctioned terms debuted, including “Classic” and “Selection,” which were intended to replace trocken and halbtrocken, respectively. (Neither really caught on.)

Erstes Gewächs got formal approval for use on the labels of dry wines from specific sites in the Rheingau. And while the law technically prohibits any label language not expressly defined, at least one informal term—feinherb, indicating a slightly off-dry style—persisted and replaced halbtrocken on most labels.


What is a PDO known as in Germany?

geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (gU)


What is Wein?

Lowest category level for German Wine.

Deutscher Wein if produced from German grapes.

Formerly Tafelwein, this category carries no geographic designation (unless labeled Deutscher Wein). Variety and vintage are permitted on the label.


What is Qualitätswein?
What are requirements? Chaptalization?
What is min alcohol?
What is must weight range and min alcohol?

A PDO category, encompassing most of the country’s top dry wines.

These wines must be produced from approved varieties sourced from a single anbaugebiet. Qualitätswein may be chaptalized.

This category, inclusive of Prädikatswein, covers 96% of German wine production and almost all exports. Because of low alcohol levels achieved by some of Germany’s finest sweet wines, this category requires wines to acquire a minimum 7% alcohol content, rather than the minimum 8.5% mandated by European law.

Min must weight-55-72°
Min alcohol- 7%


Who originated the Blue Nun brand? When?

1921 vintage of H. Sichel Söhne Liebfraumilch, was created by a Jewish merchant family who fled the Nazis in 1938 and returned at the war’s end.


What is Qualitätswein
"Erstes Gewächs"

What does it apply to? When was the first vintage?

"Erstes Gewächs," unlike the VDP's "Grosses Gewächs," is a legally defined term. It applies to Riesling and Pinot Noir from classified sites in the Rheingau, harvested at a max. 50 hl/ha and aged prior to release. Maximum residual sugar for Pinot Noir is 6 g/l and 9 g/l for Riesling. Min must weight is 85 for Riesling and 90° for PN; min alcohol is 12% for Riesling and 13% for PN. The first legally approved vintage for this category was 1999.


What is Landwein?

Second category of German wine

An IGP category including trocken and halbtrocken wines produced from any of 26 winegrowing regions, known as Landweingebiete.


What is Prädikatswein?

A PDO category and a subset of Qualitätswein, encompassing all of the country’s best sweet wines. The lower Prädikate require a minimum 7% acquired alcohol; from Beerenauslese on up, the minimum is reduced to 5.5%.

Chaptalization is NOT allowed.


What is the minimum Öchsle range and min alcohol for each Prädikat level?

Kabinett 70-85° 7%
Spätlese 80-95°. 7%
Auslese 88-105°. 7%
BA 110-128°. 5.5%
TBA 150-154°. 5.5%
Eiswein 110-128°. 5.5%


Why was the impact of WWII even worse than WWI on German wine?

-The Nazis drove out the Jews, who accounted for 60 to 70% of the wine merchant trade, and ended the wine auctions that had long been a primary sales mechanism for quality wines.

-The Nazis took the best (and sweetest) wines for themselves.

-As the tide turned against Germany, workers died and vineyards sustained bombing raids. At the end of World War II, international boycotts commenced, the country was cleaved in two, and the German vineyard had shrunk to fewer than 50,000 hectares of vines.


When did Phylloxera hit Germany?

1872, but spread in force after the WWI. This cleared the way for the adoption of Müller-Thurgau and its contemporaries.


Why did German wine plummet after WWI?

-French and British boycotted German products.

-Russian export market closed due to revolution.

-American export market closed due to prohibition.


What is Weinpropaganda?

Appeared in the 1920's, after losing much of their exporting, to turn German wine industry inward. Featuring German soldiers touting white German wines, and a 1930 wine law limited the importation of foreign wines.


What is required to be a member of VDP?

-A commitment to the VDP’s classification system

-observance of higher minimum must weights and lower maximum yields than permitted by German law.

-All wines must be estate grown.

-Hand-harvesting is required for all single vineyard wines and for any Prädikat wines of Auslese level or above.

-In their vineyards, all must cultivate a minimum 80% of traditional grape varieties, from selections drawn by each regional association—lists that generally exclude crossings developed for hardiness in the vineyard and high, reliable yields.

-In an effort to restore individualism and impact to the vineyard names of Germany, the VDP prohibits its members from using the loathed Grosslagen of 1971 on their labels. (Out with Grosslagen; long live Grosse Lage.)


What are examples of producers exceptions and/or exemptions to VDP rules?

-Bürklin-Wolf continues to label its top single-vineyard wines as “GC” and “PC.” (Grand Cru and Premier Cru)

-Schloss Johannisberg continues to label their “Silberlack” Grosses Lage Riesling as Trocken

-Koehler-Ruprecht was forbidden from retaining its traditional Prädikat declarations on dry wines—a move that led the producer to leave the association in 2014.

-producers in the Mosel make Grosse Lage Kabinett at yields of 60 to 70 hectoliters per hectare, a violation tolerated by the VDP because the higher yields are more suitable for that style of wine.


What are the categories for the VDP from 2011 forward?
What are the max yield for each?

Emulating Burgundy, the VDP system includes:

—Grosse Lage (Grand cru vineyards)- Single vineyard selection labeled solely with vineyard name (Goldtröpfchen, Rothenberg, Hermannshöhle); max 50 hl/ha

—Erste Lage (Premier cru vineyards)- Single vineyard selection labeled in traditional fashion with vineyard preceded by village name; max 60 hl/ha

—Ortswein (Village tier)- Product of multiple vineyards in a single village and is typically labeled with the village name and/or a statement of soil, such as Kalkstein (limestone), Blauen Schiefer (blue slate), Buntsandstein (red sandstone), or Muschelkalk (shell-limestone); max 75 hl/ha

—Gutswein (Regional tier)- Typically on may state the Anbaugebiet, oftten accompanied by a fantasy name; max 75 hl/ha


What is Kalkstein, Blauen Schiefer, or Buntsandstein?

Kalkstein (limestone), Blauen Schiefer (blue slate), or Buntsandstein (red sandstone).

Some labels (espcially Ortwein bottlings) may label with a village and statement of soil.


Can Erste Lage wines be Grosses Gewächs?

Grosses Gewächs is reserved for Gross Lage wines. Producers of Erste Lage dry wines must label as trocken.


What styles of wine are allowed for Grosse Lage wines?

Wines may be dry ("GG") or sweet (labeled by prädikat). Producers of sweet wines may make a range of prädikat levels from a Grosse Lage site, but only one dry wine may be produced in each of the top vineyards.


How is a VDP member identified on the bottle?

Mandatory presence off the VDP’s logo, the Traubenadler (a stylized eagle bearing a cluster of grapes), on bottle capsules.


What regions do not used the Erste Lage designation as of 2016?

Mosel, Ahr, and Rheinhessen


When may Prädikatswein Grosse Lage wines be released?

Prädikatswein Grosse Lage wines may be released as early as May 1 of the year after harvest.


Is Chaptalization allowed for dry wines in Germany?

All VDP dry wines, including the very expensive Grosses Gewächs bottlings, are simply Qualitätswein in the eyes of the law. Chaptalization is therefore legally possible—and routinely practiced with Spätburgunder—despite the VDP’s original mission of promoting Natur wines.


Where does Germany rank among sparkling wine consumers and production in the world?

Biggest sparkling wine consumers PER CAPITA

Third largest producer of sparkling wines in the world.


Where was the first sparkling made in Germany? When?

Württemberg in 1826


85% of the Sparkling wine output comes from the seven largest companies in Germany. Name three

Rotkäppchen "rot-kap-shen"
Söhnlein-Brillant "zoon-lan bril-yant"


Fun fact from 1985-2015 German wines vinified dry shot from 16%-_____



Who is the leader of the sparkling wine movement in Germany?

Volker Raumland from Rheinhessen, who founded Germany's first winery focusing only on sparkling wines


What varieties for each region can be produced as Grosse Gewächs wines bearing the Erste Lage Logo?

Hessische Bergstrasse

Württemberg: Riesling, Weißer Burgunder, Grauer Burgunder, Spätburgunder, Lemberger

Baden: Riesling, Weisser Burgunder, Grauer Burgunder, Spätburgunder

Hessische Bergstraße: Riesling, Weißer Burgunder, Grauer Burgunder, Spätburgunder

Franken: Riesling, Silvaner, Weisser Burgunder, Spätburgunder

Saale-Unstrut: Riesling, Silvaner, Weisser Burgunder, Spätburgunder

Ahr: Spätburgunder, Frühburgunder, Riesling (only natural sweetness)

Pfalz: Riesling, Weisser Burgunder, Spätburgunder

Sachsen: Riesling, Weisser Burgunder, Spätburgunder

Rheinhessen: Riesling, Spätburgunder

Rheingau: Riesling, Spätburgunder

Mittelrhein: Riesling

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer: Riesling

Nahe: Riesling


What is sekt?

Word used in German-speaking countries for sparkling wine. Governed in Germany by manufacturing rather than wine law, most Sekt there is inexpensive and produced in bulk in tank from imported wine.


What is a Bereich?

District or subregion


What is a Einzellage

Single vineyard


What is a Grosslagen?

"large vineyard." A collection of individual vineyards (Einzellagen) that share common traits.


What is VDP? When was it founded?

The Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter, or VDP, is a national German association of producers committed to top quality. Founded in 1910 as the Verband Deutscher Naturweinversteigerer, VDA, the organization originally promoted unchaptalized “natur” wines. principally through wine auctions. When the 1971 Wine Law abolished the use of the term natur and created the category of QbA, for which chaptalization is legal, the organization rewrote its internal constitution to promote superior standards while respecting new labeling laws and also changed its name to the


What environment factor is most directly linked to TDN development in Riesling?

Excessive sunlight