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quality system

The last decision on the quality A wine is made by the consumer and, despite all scientifically sound analysis methods, is a mixture of not only objective, but to a large extent subjective impressions. Whether a wine "tastes" depends on physiological preferences or dislikes (someone does not like red wine, because he may even have bad experiences due to high histamine levels made), the cultural background of the consumer and the personal experiences. Although experiences are strictly subjective, but on the other hand an objective criterion (in acid-stressed Crying someone gets heartburn, so that a wine has poor quality).

The chemist describes by objective analyzes how the wine is made, the consumer or wine critic Subjectively describes how it tastes. Ultimately, the saying must be accepted: De gustibus non est disputandum (You can not argue about taste) . A qualitative wine review in the form of a grading and textual description is determined by professional tastings. There are already attempts to use the "tastable" quality Glycosyl-glucose assay determine.

Origin & Quality Pyramid

The wine quality is through ancestry (Origin), methods of Weingarten Care (Vineyard), as well as kind of winemaking (Cellar) influenced. The habit of classifying wines into quality classes already existed in the antiquity, where the origin of the grapes has always played a major role in the assessment. Beginning in the 1970s, a source-based system was introduced in many countries. In the 1990s, the EU became a multi-level quality system with stages table wine (but see there), table wine. country wine and quality wine (or QbA = quality wine of specific production areas), which was valid until July 2009. In some countries there were also intermediate stages or special designations such as in Germany and Austria Prädikatswein, In the states of European Union and partly in the New world was or is still a mostly multi-leveled one Quality Wine Scheme valid with different names.

EU wine market regulations 2009

In August 2009, an extensively amended EU wine market regulation came into force which, among other things, brought about major changes in the quality levels and designations. The origin protection system of the common food law was also adopted for the wine and the criterion ancestry (Origin) given great importance. The new system now distinguishes between "wine without geographical indication" and "wine with geographical indication". Thus, the model of the French appellation system The existing quality philosophy of the "Roman wine law" is taken over, which is based on wine, but also with food and agricultural products always on the origin. In this way, the quality hierarchies, which in many countries are partly defined by the state and partly incompatible with each other, are to be replaced, the new levels associated with clear profiles and made intelligible to the consumer.

New quality levels

Under a transitional period, wines marketed under the 'old system' before 31 December 2010 may continue to be marketed until stocks are exhausted. However, this should not confuse the Member States' obligation to send the technical specifications for all protected names of origin to the Commission by the end of 2011 at the latest, since otherwise international protection for such origin would have expired. The new terms:

  • Wine without S and J with State = z. B. Wine from Germany (formerly table wine)
  • Wine with variety and / or vintage with indication state
  • Wine made from grapes of one EU country, processed in another EU country
  • Wine from blend of wines from several EU countries = European wine
  • Wine PGI = wine with protected geographical indication = land wine
  • Wine PDO = wine with protected designation of origin = quality wine / predicate wine

Quality levels - wine, land wine, quality / predicate wine

A special feature is the possible processing of grapes from one EU member state into another EU member state. For example, this could be "wine obtained in Austria from grapes harvested in Italy". Wines from third countries are labeled with the name of the third country, for example "wine from Chile". A blend of wines from several third countries, such as a Chilean wine blended with an Australian wine, is called "blending of wines outside the European Community" or "blend of Chilean and Australian wines".

Wines without geographical indications

These are simply called "wine"; the term table wine is no longer allowed. At this stage, a distinction is made between 'wine' (without variety and / or vintage) and 'wine with variety and / or vintage'. As part of the negotiations, Germany and Austria have spoken out against the possibility of naming wine with no grape variety as the member state with grape variety (s) and vintage. However, they were overruled by the majority, arguing for equality of opportunity with wine exports from third countries such as Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. As a compromise, however, it was stipulated that the Member States must lay down stricter requirements and controls for these wines than for wines without grape variety and vintage specifications.

The new quality category "wine" aims to better position larger quantities of simpler wine with no origin but with grape variety information on the (world) market, as the countries in Overseas had practiced for a long time. Before the new wine market regulation within the EU the indication of the Rebsorten with the category "table wine" was forbidden. First and foremost, this category has therefore been deliberately degraded in order to distinguish the origin (land and quality) wines in a positive way. The aim was to make the simpler wines more suitable for the market in order to avoid the expensive elimination of wine Excess production get away.

Obligatory is the indication of origin in the form of the member state (eg wine from Germany or product from Austria), in which the grapes were harvested and processed into wine. If it is a wine made from grapes from different Member States, the indication "Wine from the European Community" (or analogously) must be given. This is bez. "Wines without geographical indication" confusing, but "Member State" or "European Community" are not considered "geographical indication" or "designation of origin". Furthermore, the must bottler be specified. On the other hand, information on the operation such as castle, viticulture or winery, as well as production methods such as "fermented in barrels" or "expanded in the barrel" are prohibited.

Wine - without variety and / or vintage indication

These wines correspond mutatis mutandis to the previous one table wine, It is seen as a low quality market regulation product. Therefore, he may also to a degree that does not affect the taste wine faults such as a light one sulfurous off respectively. For this lowest level, there are no maximum yield limits, as well as no cultivation and production rules, which allows great scope.

Wine - with variety and / or vintage indication

These wines with no indication of origin as the member state must be free of defects in appearance, smell and taste, as well as one of grape variety varietal respectively. Here there is a country-specific maximum yield regulation. Certain grape varieties or grape variety designations that have a protected geographical indication or a protected designation of origin as name components and thus could be misleading for the consumer are excluded from this. For example, white, gray and blue burgundy indicates Burgundy and is therefore banned in Germany and Austria. It is the responsibility of the Member States to define these grape varieties or grape variety names (see Quality wine-grape varieties ).

Land wine and quality wine (old) = wine PGI and wine PDO (new)

There are two levels for the quality wines above, as in the past, which correspond to the earlier country wines and quality wines (plus predicate wines). The smaller the region of origin, the higher are the wine-related requirements earnings and alcohol content, All protected indications of origin must be requested by the member states and are in one EU Regulation listed.

Member States are authorized to retain all previous designations as traditional terms. Within the two stages, as in the past, country-specific gradations, such as B. Qualitätswein and Prädikatswein. In order to increase their competitiveness vis-à-vis non-member countries, unlike in the past, these wines may now not be bottled, as they were previously, but also in other containers such as Bag-in-Boxes or Tetra pack be bottled.

The two terms PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) and PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) are nothing new, by the way, but have been used for a long time for the marking of geographical and originated food.

Wine PGI = wine with protected geographical indication

These wines correspond to that country wine, They usually come from larger areas such as region or state. Obligatory is the indication of the member state and the viticulture region as indication of source on label, The term "geographical indication" means the name of a region, a specific place or, in exceptional cases, a country used to designate a wine with the following requirements:

He has a certain goodness, a certain reputation, or other qualities which result from this geographical origin; at least 85% of the grapes originate exclusively or are produced in this geographical area; as well as it was won from Rebsorten, which became the species Vitis vinifera or one crossing between varieties of Vitis vinifera and another variety of the genus Vitis (for example, Asian Vitis amurensis or American Vitis labrusca ) counting. The specifications are less strict and extensive than for the wine PDO The designations in the national languages:

  • Bulgaria : Regionalno Vino
  • Germany : PGI = protected geographical indication (Landwein)
  • England and international: PGI = Protected Geographical Indication
  • France : IGP = Indication Géographique Protégée ( Vin de pays )
  • Greece : PGE = Prostatevomenis Geografikis Endixis (Topikos Oinos)
  • Italy : IGP = Indicazione Geografica Protetta (IGT = Indicazione Geografica Tipica)
  • Croatia : ZOZP = Zaštićena Oznaka Zemljopisnog Podrijetla (Regionalno Vino)
  • Austria : PGI = protected geographical indication (Landwein)
  • Poland : COG = Chronione Oznaczenie Geograficzne (Wino Krajowe)
  • Portugal : IGP = Indicação Geográfica Protegida (VR = Vinho Regional)
  • Romania : IG = Indicaţie Geografică (Vin de Regiune)
  • Slovakia : CZO = Chráněné Zeměpisné Označeni (Regional Víno)
  • Slovenia : PGO = Priznano Geografsko Oznako (Deželno Vino)
  • Spain : IGP = Indicación Geográfica Protegida (VdlT = Vino de la Tierra)
  • Czech Republic : CZO = Chráněné Zeměpisné Označeni (Zemské Víno)
  • Hungary : OFJ = Oltalom alatt álló Földrajzi Jelzésü (Tájbor)

Wine PDO = wine with protected designation of origin

These wines correspond to the earlier stages quality wine and Prädikatswein, They usually come from smaller areas such as community (place), Single Location and cadastral location (Germany) or location or Riede (Austria). The "designation of origin" is the name of a region, a specific place or, in exceptional cases, a country used to designate a wine with the following requirements:

It owes its goodness or qualities predominantly or exclusively to geographical conditions, including natural and human influences; the grapes originate exclusively or are produced in this geographical area; as well as from grape varieties of the species Vitis vinifera won (see also under Quality wine-grape varieties ).

For the production country-specific criteria regarding the care of vineyards apply as among others training system, Planting density and pruning; Restriction of the yield; Minimum values for the Mostgewicht the grapes; Type of vintage; Specifications regarding the vinification as enrich. Spriten. leavening. sweetening and type or duration of the expansion; as well as specifications regarding alcohol content. colour. total extract. taste. residual sugar and acidity of the wine. The wines must be before marketing analytical (chemical / physical) and sensory (Tasting) tests are subjected. See under Official test number (Germany) and State test number (Austria). The names in the national languages:

  • Bulgaria : GNP = Garantirano Naimenovanie sa Proischod (Katschestveno Vino)
  • Germany : PDO = protected designation of origin (Qualitätswein, Prädikatswein)
  • England and international: PDO = Protected Designation of Origin (Quality Wine PSR)
  • France : AOP = Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOC / AC, VDQS)
  • Greece : POP = Prostatevomenis Onomasias Proelefsis (OPAP, OPE, OKP)
  • Italy : DOP = Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOC, DOCG)
  • Croatia : ZOI = Zaštićena Oznaka Izvornosti (Kvalitetno Vino, Predikatno Vino)
  • Austria : PDO = protected designation of origin (Qualitätswein, Prädikatswein)
  • Poland : CNP = Chroniona Nazwa Pochodzenia (Jakość Wino)
  • Portugal : DOP = Denomination of Origen Protegida (IPR, DOC)
  • Romania : DOC = Denumire de Origine Controlată / Vin de Calitate
  • Slovakia : ??? = not known (Akostné Víno, Akostné Víno s Prívlastkom)
  • Slovenia : ZGP = Zaščitenim Geografskim Poreklom / Kakovostno Vino ZGP
  • Spain : DOP = Denominación de Origen Protegida (DO, DOCa, VCIG, VdP)
  • Czech Republic : ??? = not known (Stanovená Oblast)
  • Hungary : OEM = Oltalom alatt álló Eredetmegjelölésü (Minöségi Bor, Különleges MB)


The names of the winegrowing areas of all EU Member States have been automatically entered in the EU Register as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Land of Protected Lands as Protected Geographical Indications (PGI), thus being recognized and protected under EU law, thus covering the EU Requirements. These are, for example, the German wine-growing regions, the Austrian wine-growing regions, the French AOC (now AOP), the Spanish DO / DOCa- (now DOP) and the Italian DOC / DOCG (now DOP). Therefore, they can and will of course continue to be listed on the bottle label. However, country-specific regulations exist on the use of the new designations.

The terms Landwein, Qualitätswein and Prädikatswein (with all types of wine) are no longer uniform EU quality grades, but have been preserved only as "traditional claims". This is especially true for Austria and Germany, but also others. In Austria the new terms PGI and PDO are prohibited until further notice. In Germany this was only the case until the end of 2011. Alternatively, the new terms may be added here, but not in the abbreviated form. In France. Greece. Italy. Portugal and Spain Alternatively, the old designations are permitted.

further classification systems

Regardless of or in addition to the EU regulation, there are still additional classification systems in some countries. That's for example in France Bordeaux Classification ( Graves. Saint-Emilion. Sauterne ) and Burgundy classification, as well as in Germany the VDP classification, See also a complete listing of the many classification systems below Grand Cru,

Additional information

All work, techniques and measures during the growth cycle in the vineyard one finds under Weingarten Care, Complete listings of the numerous cellar techniques, as well as the wine-regulated wine, sparkling wine and distillate types are under the keyword winemaking contain. Comprehensive information on wine law is available under the keyword wine law,

Graphic: © Norbert FJ Tischelmayer

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