German wine reforms a positive change

22nd August, 2014 by Simon Howland

Wine reforms in Germany will benefit the consumer and should see the re-emergence of some spectacular long lost appellations, but will not solve all of the country’s problems.

VDP, a German stamp of quality.

VDP, a German stamp of quality.

A new German regulation is likely to result in the reappearance of some top vineyard names on labels but there are concerns consumers will continue to be confused, according to Michael Schmidt in the Purple Pages.

The federal state of Rheinland-Pfalz has passed a regulation enabling producers to declare the origin of plots within single vineyards as long as they are recorded in the land registry.

This will enable growers to be more specific and more narrowly define a wine’s origin than at any time since the German wine law of 1971 came into force.

The changes also require higher must weight from single vineyard appellations and restrict terraced vineyard sites to the two varieties, Riesling and Spätburgunder.

The legislation covers wines grown in Mosel-Saar, Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Nahe, Ahr and Mitterlrhein.

The famous terraces of the Mosel are covered by the new legislation.

The famous terraces of the Mosel are covered by the new legislation.

The Verband Deutscher Prädikats, the association that includes most of Germany’s top wine producers, has welcomed the new decree but insists there is more to be done for consumers to clarify the differences between Grosslagen (Collective sites) and Einzellagen (Vineyards).

Schmidt cited Piesporter Michelsberg, which incorporates an area under vine, well exceeding the boundaries of Piesport, and Piesporter Goldtröpchen, which refers to one clearly defined site, as an example for potential confusion and argues unless differences such as this are clarified all the good intentions of new laws will not have any tangible impact.

The 1971 legislation was important as it abolished many of the designations, over 30,000 at the time, and included them in larger individual sites thus simplifying things for the consumer.

While generally positive the 1971 legislation also meant that, in certain instances, wines of a lower quality were bundled together with others of a higher quality thus diluting the quality and reputation of the latter and some excellent plots disappeared into lesser groupings.

Schmidt believes the new legislation will see the resurrection of some of these “fine and famous” appellations that were no longer permitted after 1971.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

UK Brand Ambassador - That Boutique-y Gin Company

That Boutique-y Gin Company
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Senior National Account Manager – Grocery (Craft Spirits)

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Senior National Account Manager – Wholesale RTM (Craft Spirits)

Maverick Drinks
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Digital Marketing Manager

Master of Malt
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK

Experienced On Trade Sales Person

Borough Wine Imports
London, GB

3 x Business Development Executive

The Lakes Distillery Company Limited
Newcastle head office and nationwide, UK

Editor

Master of Malt Ltd
Tunbridge Wells(Kent)

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Brand Manager

Hallgarten Druitt
Luton, UK

Experienced On-Trade Salespeople Required

Portal Wines and Spirits
London, UK

Purchasing and Sales (Wine Trader)

JF Tobias
London, UK

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Cambridge / Peterborough / Bedfordshire, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 17th April 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 14th April 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more