Literally translated, this means ‘ice wine’. These wines must be made from grapes of at least Beerenauslese quality, then harvested and pressed while frozen (about -7°C). A very low quantity is produced in excellent /very good vintages only but the quality is exceptional. They contain a high level of residual sugar.  (See Prädikatswein)


A long established white grape variety, grown in the Mosel region.

Erste Lage

Literally means top (vineyard) site. Within the VDP classification, it can be translated as Grand Cru, referring to the premium status of a vineyard and its wine. The term does not indicate style, but all Erste Lage wines must be dry. “Grosses Gewäches” or “Erstes Gewäches” wines are produced from these vineyards’ yield.

Erstes Gewäches

In the Rheingau region, the term Erstes Gewäches (First Growth) can be found on the label for some of the top wines. These wines are subject to stringent quality guidelines such as low yields, hand picking and pruning, and the vineyards from which these wines may come are clearly defined parcels of land. First Growths may only be produced from Riesling and Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder). With a maximum of 13 g/l residual sugar they are more likely to be classified as dry. They also have to pass an additional sensory evaluation. Red wines may not be released before 1st of September two years after the vintage, white wines not before 1st of September of the following year.

Outside of the Rheingau, these top class dry wines (which can be made from different grapes, typical for their growing region), are defined by the classification model of the Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingueter (VDP) Association of German certified wineries – and are called Grosses Gewäches. On the label they can be identified by the initials “GG” (see Grosses Gewäches)


Estate-bottled by an individual grower or cooperative of growers. Grapes of a particular wine have only been grown in the winery’s vineyards.

Extra brut

Used for sparkling wines, the residual sugar is even lower than with “Brut”

Extra trocken

Meaning extra dry, this term is only used for sparkling wine.