‘Origin of Wine’ becomes a marker of quality in German wine law

In August 2020, the German Cabinet approved a draft from the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture to dramatically change the way in which the quality of German wines is decided.

Until this point, it was solely the sugar content, measured in Oechsle, which determined the wine’s quality and this was indicated by the Prädikat designation on the bottle.

However, the new changes will mean that a key factor is now the origin of the wine. The reform is aimed at enhancing the value of wine-growing regions and sites and is based on the principle “the smaller the origin, the higher the quality”. Following the Roman model, the classification will run from ‘German wine’, at the lowest level, to single vineyard areas at the top.

The aim of the new system is also to create transparency for consumers by associating a certain taste profile with wines from a specific region, place or site.