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P3: READING A GERMAN & FRENCH WINE LABEL

The German wine label traditionally provides a wealth of information about the wine though it looks confusing to read at rst glance. German wine law regulates that at least six items of information be present on the label Name of the Bottler or Producer: German wine houses are often called "Kloster", "Schloss", "Burg", "Domaine" or "Weingut" followed by some other name. A.P. Nr Amtliche Prfnummer Quality control number: The rst number denotes the region where the wine was produced (1-9), the second 2 or 3 digit number indicates the village or the vineyard, the next 2-3 digit number represent the wine estate, the following 2-3 digit number is the sequential order Region of origin Volume of the wine Location of the producer Alcohol content

P3: READING A GERMAN & FRENCH WINE LABEL

Though not required, German wine labels may also include Grape variety (e.g., Riesling) Prdikat level of ripeness (e.g., Sptlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, Eiswein) Vintage year (e.g., 1992) Taste, such as dry (trocken) or off-dry (halbtrocken) Vineyard name If the wine is estate-bottled (Erzeugerabfllung or Gutsabfllung), bottled by a co-op (Winzergenossenschaft), or by a third party bottler (Abfller). Address of the winery The logo of the Association of German Prdikat Wine Estates (Verband Deutscher Prdikatsund Qualittsweingter, or more commonly VDP) which is awarded to the top 200 producers, as voted among themselves. The logo is a black eagle with a cluster of grapes in

P3: READING A GERMAN & FRENCH WINE LABEL


the center. While not an absolute guarantee, the presence of the VDP logo is a helpful insight into the quality of the wine.

VDP Logo: Typically found on the capsule of the bottle. literally means The Association of German Quality and Prdikat Wine Estates. Founded in 1910, its the worlds oldest association of wine estates, and its mission is to help set high standards for German wine.

Selection of some German wine terms: Trocken Halbtrocken Weisswein Rotwein Rotling Sekt Weingut Weinkellerei Winzergenossenschaft Gutsabfllung Erzeugerabfllung Abfller Anbaugebiet Bereich Grosslage Einzellage Prdikat A.P.Nr or Amtliche Prfnummer Dry Medium dry White wine Red wine Ros wine Sparkling wine Wine estate Winery Winegrowers' co-operative Estate-bottled wine Producer-bottled wine Bottler or shipper Wine region or region of origin A district within one of the Anbaugebiete Collection of vineyards Single vineyard Level of ripeness Quality control number. Conrms that the wine has passed ofcial testing procedures.

P3: READING A GERMAN & FRENCH WINE LABEL


France is the largest producer of ne wine in the world. Each French region is different from the next, not only in its 'terroir' but in the history and style of the wines it produces. Often, this uniqueness is reected on the labels as every region has its own particular set of appellations, classications and labeling rules all controlled by regional and national wines laws, as well as those enforced by the European Union. French wine classication AOC (Appellation d'Origine Controlee): An AOC classication acts as a consumer guarantee that a wine is of a particular quality and, generally, of a particular style. It also states that the wine has been made in a designated area, in accordance with local wine production laws and regulations. Grand Cru is the highest-possible classication for a French wine. It is used in two distinct ways, relating either to the winery itself (as in the 1855 Classication of Medoc and Graves) or the land from which the wine comes (as in Burgundy's Cote d'Or district). The latter system has been more widely adopted across France, not just in Burgundy but in Champagne, Alsace, Languedoc-Roussillon and the Loire Valley. Premier Cru is also used in two ways: to denote the highest tier within an existing Grand Cru classication (such as the Premier Grand Cru Classes of Medoc and Saint-Emilion) and to denote land of superior quality, but which falls short of Grand Cru status. AOP (Appellation d'Origine Protege): the Europe-wide equivalent of the French nationallevel AOC. VDQS (Vin Delimite de Qualite Superieure): This level is seen as a stepping stone for appellations seeking promotion to AOC/AOP status. VDQS titles represent less than 1% of France's total wine production and change often, so it is rare to see VDQS on a wine label. The category has been removed from France's wine quality hierarchy, as of the 2011 vintage. VDP (Vin de Pays) means 'Wine of the Land' or 'Country Wine'. This classication is below VDQS but above 'Vin de Table', and was introduced in the 1970s. It covers about one quarter of French wine, the majority of which is intended for the domestic market. There are more than 100 VDP titles, each denoting the geographical area in which the wines are made. (Not to be confused with the Verband Deutscher Pradikatsweinguter classication in Germany.) IGP (Indication Geographique Protegee): the Europe-wide equivalent of the French national-level VDP. VDT (Vin de Table): 'Table Wine' the lowest category of French wine. The least regulated of all the quality levels, VDT wines can be made anywhere in France. (Not to be confused with the Vino de Tierra classication in Spain.)

P3: READING A GERMAN & FRENCH WINE LABEL


Bordeaux Wine Labels: The Bordeaux region in France is unique in its wine laws, which have evolved for centuries making it the most classied wine region of the world. On a Bordeaux wine bottle the following information will always be included. Please see the image below for an example. Name of the estate (Chteau Grand-Puy-Lacoste in the example below) Estate's classication (the label may or may not display the actual level of the classication) Appellation (in Bordeaux's case, the appellation will often indicate the type of the wine and the grapes used) Bottling information (whether or not the wine is bottled at the chateau) Vintage Alcohol content Volume

P3: READING A GERMAN & FRENCH WINE LABEL


Burgundy Wine Labels: The concept of terroir is deeply rooted in Burgundian wine culture, and the variation in the soils and climatology of its vineyard sites (or climats) is the basis of Burgundy's wine-classication system. When judging the quality of a Burgundy, its producer is of key importance, but the plot of land where the grapes were grown is also a primary indicator of quality.

P3: READING A GERMAN & FRENCH WINE LABEL


Alsace Wine Labels: Alsace, although part of France, was historically also ruled by Germany, and its wines retain a Germanic inuence. Like Germany, the region produces mostly varietal wines bottled in distinct tall bottles commonly known as tes. The region is best known for its aromatic white wines with various levels of sweetness. Unlike most other French wine regions, Alsace wine labels almost always display the grape variety. However, under appellation rules, if a grape variety is stated, the wine must be made entirely from that variety.

P3: READING A GERMAN & FRENCH WINE LABEL


Champagne Wine Labels: Champagne labeling laws differ from other parts of France because the entire region falls under a single AOC (AOP, the ofcial EU equivalent) the protected term 'Champagne' and the wines are categorized according to styles rather than designations. Here, the status of the producer is more important than the vineyard site. To distinguish between the numerous different styles, Champagne labels use a range of terms as described below. Level of sweetness: Ultra Brut Bone dry or very dry Brut Dry Sec Literally dry but has higher sugar level than Brut Demi-sec Medium dry Doux Sweet Non-vintage: A Champagne made from a blend of wines from different years. Some Champagne houses may use up to hundred reserve wines from previous years to produce a consistent house style. Vintage: A Champagne made from a single year's harvest. The label must show the year of the harvest. Blanc de Blancs: This term means that the Champagne has been produced entirely from white grapes in other words, Chardonnay. Blanc de Noirs: Refers to Champagne made from black grape varieties (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier). Ros: This is made by blending a little red wine with the whites, but can also be produced by employing the saigne method. Grande Marque: Means 'Great Brand'. A producer may use this term but according to AOC rules it does not guarantee quality or any particular style. Cuve de Prestige: These are the top-of-the-range releases from the Champagne houses and may come with a vintage on the label. Some examples include 'Dom Prignon' from Mot et Chandon, 'Cristal' from Louis Roederer and 'La Grande Dame' from Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin. Marque d'Acheteur: Means 'Buyer's Own Brand'. These are often seen on Champagnes sold within retail or supermarket chains, which sell them using their own brand names.

Apart from these, there are other non-mandatory terms that may appear on a label, specifying the type of Champagne producer, maturation time, etc.

P3: READING A GERMAN & FRENCH WINE LABEL

Quality Wines Produced in Specied Regions (often abbreviated to QWPSR or simply "quality wines") is a quality indicator used within European Union wine regulations. The QWPSR category identies wines with protected geographical indications.

P3: READING A GERMAN & FRENCH WINE LABEL


Selection of some French wine terms: Blanc Brut Cave Chateau Cote/Coteaux Cremant Cru Cru Classe Demi-sec Domaine Doux Grand cru Millesime Mise en Bouteille au Chateau/Domaine/a la propriete Negociant Premier Cru Proprietaire Recoltant Recolte Rouge White Dry Wine cellar An estate. Literally, 'castle', but mostly refers to large country houses Slope of a hill/hillsides A style of sparkling wine other than Champagne Literally, 'growth'. Denotes status of a vineyard. Classied vineyard Medium-dry Estate Sweet Literally, 'great growth'. Highest-quality wines. The vintage of a wine Estate-bottled. Sometimes MC in short for Bordeaux wines.

A merchant who buys grapes, juice or wine from growers and sells the wines under his own label First growth Estate or vineyard owner A grape grower. Sometimes also means a person who harvests the grapes. Harvest or vintage Red

Selection de Grains Nobles A sweet style of wine made in Alsace from grapes affected by noble rot (botrytis) Superieur Vendange Vendange Tardive Vieilles Vignes Vigneron/Viticulteur Vignoble Vin A wine with higher alcohol content Harvest Late harvest. A style of wine originally from Alsace but now used in various French wine regions. Old vines Vine grower/grape grower Vineyard Wine *************