Flashcards in Winemaking Deck (15)
How much enrichment is allowed in German winemaking?
Most of Germany's wine regions fall in EU Zone A, allowing enrichment of up to 3% abv; Baden is in Zone B, for which max. enrichment is 2%. Enrichment is not allowed for Prädikatswein, but is common practice for bulk wine.
Is de-acidification allowed in Germany? How about acidification?
De-acidification is permitted, as is acidification but only in the hottest years. These tend to be used only for high-end, inexpensive volumes.
Traditionally, in what sort of containers were German wines fermented and matured?
In large old oak casks to allow for some oxygenation. Some producers of premium Riesling still do this toda.
What sorts of traditional casks are found in Germany now?
The 1,000 L Fuder of Mosel.
The oval-shaped 1,200 L Stuck used along the Rhine.
German oak, esp from Pfalz, is popular for large vessels as is oak from Central Europe.
French oak is common for smaller vessels like barriques.
Why is stainless steel the norm now for fermentation containers in Germany?
Stainless steel is used for inexpensive wines in which the ease of temperature control and cleaning are important, as is the ability to purchase extremely large vessels.
It's also common for mid-priced and premium Riesling (as well as over varieties such as Silvaner) in order to maintain primary aromas.
What wines in Germany use new oak barriques?
Red wines as well as Grauburgunder, Weissburgunder, and Chardonnay. (New oak isn't used on Riesling because it would mask the primary aromas.)
How is Süssreserve used in Germany wines?
In the 1960s and 1970s, Süssreserve was used to sweeten all but the finest wines with R.S, even at the Prädikatswein level. Now it used by may large commercial wineries, but quality producers makes sweet wines by stopping the fermentation by adding SO2, racking, or filtering because Süssreserve is though to give less balanced wines.
What is Süssreserve and what are the rules for using it?
Süssreserve (unfermented or partially fermented grape must) has to be produced from grapes of the same region and quality level as the wine to which it is added. Often Süssreserve and the wine it is added to come from the same must. Producers take some pre-fermentation must, clarify, chill, and protect it with SO2 so it stays fresh, and then add it back to the wine that's been fermented dry. Because it contains no alcohol it may slightly reduce the abv.
When is sweetening through Rectified Concentrated Grape Must (RCGM) used?
Only for Deutscher Wein.
How do grapes destined for Beernauslese, Eiswine, and Trockenbeerenauslese end up sweet?
They start with very high must weights, ferment very slowly, and usually fermentations will stop naturally due to the high sugar level, leaving high levels of R.S. and low levels of alcohol (often 5.5-8% abv).
How have German winemakers responded to the dramatic shift since the 1980s in the German domestic market towards drier wine?
Now the vast majority of German wine is produced dry (trocken) or off-dry (halbrocken). Evne in Mosel, famous for its sweeter wines, more wines are being fermented to dryness. Top producers remain committed to producing high-quality wines with some R.S.
Why did sweetness used to be so important for German Riesling?
Because often Riesling grapes were picked under-ripe and the sweetness masked the high acidity and bitterness. Global warming and better vineyard techniques mean that more Riesling grapes ripen fully and produce wines that balance sugar, acid, and fruit characteristics.
What winemaking techniques are used for inexpensive red wines in Germany?
Inexpensive red wines often undergo thermovinification for quick extraction of colour and flavour. The wine can then be fermented off the skins to produce fruity reds with low tannins, usually not oak matured.
What winemaking techniques are used for higher-quality red wines in Germany?
Particularly for Pinot Noir, techiniques such as cold maceration, whole bunch fermentation, and maturation in oak are common.