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quality system

The final decision on the quality A wine is made by the consumer and, despite all scientifically based analysis methods, is a mixture of not purely objective, but largely subjective impressions. Whether a wine "tastes" also depends on physiological preferences or dislikes (someone does not like red wine because he may have bad experiences due to high levels histamine levels ), the cultural background of the consumer and personal experiences. Strictly speaking, experiences are subjective, but on the other hand they are an objective criterion (for acid-stressed Someone gets heartburn crying, which makes such a wine of 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't argue about taste) . A qualitative wine review in the form of a rating 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 determined by origin (Origin), methods of Weingarten Care (Vineyard), as well as type of winemaking (Basement) influenced. The practice of dividing wines into quality classes already existed in the antiquity, whereby the origin of the grapes has always played a major role in the assessment. From the 1970s, an origin-based system was introduced in many countries. In the 1990s, the EU established a multi-level quality system with the levels table wine (but see there), table wine. country wine and quality wine (or QbA = quality wine of certain growing areas) established that was valid until July 2009. In some countries there were also intermediate levels or special designations such as those in Germany and Austria Prädikatswein, In the states of the European Union and partly also in the New world was or is still a mostly multi-stage Quality Wine Scheme valid with different names.

EU wine market regulations 2009

In August 2009, an extensive change in the EU wine market regulations came into force, which brought about major changes in quality levels and descriptions, among other things. The origin protection system of Community food law was also adopted for wine and the criterion origin Given great importance. With the new system, a distinction is now made between "wine without geographical indication" and "wine with geographical indication". Thus it was modeled on the French appellation system existing quality philosophy of "Romanesque wine law" adopted, which has always been based on the origin of wine, but also of food and agricultural products. The aim is to replace the quality hierarchies in some countries, which are state-based and arbitrarily incompatible, and to link the new levels with clear profiles and make them understandable for consumers.

New quality levels

According to a transition period, wines that were marketed according to the "old regulation" before December 31, 2010 were allowed to continue to be marketed until stocks were exhausted. However, this should not be confused with the obligation of the Member States to send the technical specifications for all protected names of origin to the Commission by the end of 2011 at the latest, as otherwise the international protection for such an origin would have lapsed. The new names:

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

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

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

Wines without geographical indications

These are simply referred to as "wine"; the term table wine is no longer allowed. At this level, a distinction is made between "wine" (without indication of variety and / or vintage) and "wine with indication of variety and / or vintage". As part of the negotiations, Germany and Austria have spoken out against the possibility of describing wine without the closer origin as the member state with grape variety (s) and vintage. However, the majority overruled them with the argument that they would achieve equal opportunities with wine exports from third countries such as Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA. As a compromise, however, it was stipulated that the member states must set stricter conditions and controls for these wines than for wines without grape varieties and vintage.

The new quality category "Wine" should enable larger quantities of simpler wine without a closer origin but with grape varieties to be better positioned on the (world) market, as the countries in Overseas had practiced for a long time. Before the new wine market regulations, the specification of the grape varieties in the "table wine" category was prohibited within the EU. In the first place, this category was deliberately degraded in order to positively differentiate the origin (country and quality) wines from it. The aim was to make the simpler wines more marketable in order to get rid of the expensive ones Excess production get away.

It is mandatory to state the origin in the form of the member state (e.g. 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. Although this is "Wines without a geographical indication" is confusing, but "Member State" or "European Community" is not considered a "geographical indication" or "designation of origin". Furthermore, the bottler can be specified. On the other hand, information about the company such as the castle, winegrowing or winery, as well as production processes such as "fermented in barrel" or "aged in barrel" are prohibited.

Wine - without specifying the variety and / or vintage

These wines correspond to the previous ones table wine, It is seen as a low-quality market organization product. Therefore, it may also to a certain extent not affect the taste wine faults like a light one sulfurous off exhibit. There are no maximum yield limits for this lowest level, nor are there any cultivation and production rules, which allows great scope.

Wine - with variety and / or vintage

These wines without a closer indication of origin than the member state must be free of defects in appearance, smell and taste, as well as one regarding grape variety varietal exhibit. There is a country-specific maximum yield regulation. Certain grape varieties or varietal names, which have a protected geographical indication or a protected designation of origin as part of the name and could therefore be misleading for the consumer, are excluded. For example, white, gray and blue burgundy indicates Burgundy and is therefore prohibited in Germany and Austria. It is within the competence of the member states to define these grape varieties or grape variety names (see under Quality wine-grape varieties ).

Quality system - PDO and PGI

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

As before, there are two levels for the higher quality wines that correspond to the earlier country wines and quality wines (plus predicate wines). The smaller the area of origin, the higher the legal requirements regarding wine earnings and alcohol content, All protected indications of origin must be requested by the member states and are in one EU Regulation listed.

The member states are authorized to retain all previous designations as traditional terms. As before, within the two stages there will be country-specific gradations such as B. Give quality wine and quality wine. In order to increase the competitiveness vis-à-vis third countries, in contrast to the past, these wines are now also allowed to be used in other containers such as Bag-in-Boxes or Tetra pack be filled.

Incidentally, the two terms PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) and PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) are nothing new, but have been used for a long time to identify geographically and origin-protected foods.

PGI = wine with a protected geographical indication

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

He has a certain kindness, a certain reputation or other characteristics that result from this geographical origin; at least 85% of the grapes come exclusively from or are produced in this geographical area; as well as it was made from grape varieties that became a 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 requirements are less strict and extensive than for PDO wine. The names in the national languages:

  • Bulgaria : Regionalno Vino
  • Germany : PGI = protected geographical indication (country wine)
  • 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 (country wine)
  • Poland : COG = Chronione Oznaczenie Geograficzne (Wino Krajowe)
  • Portugal : IGP = Indicação Geográfica Protegida (VR = Vinho Regional)
  • Romania : IG = Indicație Geografică (Vin de Regiune)
  • Slovakia : CZO = Chráněné Zeměpisné Označeni (Regionálne 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 a protected designation of origin

These wines correspond to the earlier levels quality wine and Prädikatswein, They usually come from smaller areas like municipality (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, which is used to describe a wine with the following requirements:

It owes its quality or properties mainly or exclusively to the geographical conditions including natural and human influences; the grapes come exclusively from 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 ).

Country-specific criteria regarding the cultivation of vineyards apply to the production, among other things training system, Plant density and pruning; Limitation of yield; Minimum values for the Mostgewicht the grapes; Type of vintage; Vinification requirements such as enrich. Spriten. leavening. sweetening and type or duration of the expansion; as well as requirements 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. 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 (quality wine, quality wine)
  • England and international: PDO = Protected Designation of Origin (Quality Wine PSR)
  • France : AOP = Appellation d'Origine Protégée (AOC / AC, VDQS)
  • Greece : POP = Prostatevomenis Onomasías 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 (quality wine, quality wine)
  • Poland : CNP = Chroniona Nazwa Pochodzenia (Jakość Wino)
  • Portugal : DOP = Denominação de Origem 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 wine-growing regions of all EU countries are automatically entered in the EU register as protected designations of origin (PDO) and those of the rural wine regions as protected geographical indications (PGI), so they are recognized and protected under wine law and thus cover 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) regions. Therefore, of course, they can and will continue to be listed on the bottle label. However, there are country-specific regulations regarding the use of the new names.

The terms country wine, quality wine and predicate wine (with all wine types) are no longer EU-uniform quality levels, but have only been preserved as "traditional information". This applies above all to Austria and Germany, but also to others. In Austria the new designations PGI and PDO are prohibited for the time being. In Germany this was only the case until the end of 2011. Alternatively, the new names can also be given here, but not in the abbreviated form. In France. Greece. Italy. Portugal and Spain alternatively, the old names are permitted.

further classification systems

Independent of or in addition to the EU regulation, however, there are still additional classification systems in some countries. 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 at Grand Cru,

Additional information

All work, techniques and measures during the growth cycle in the vineyard can be found at Weingarten Care, Complete lists of the numerous cellar techniques, as well as the wine, sparkling wine and distillate types regulated by wine law are under the keyword winemaking contain. There is extensive wine law information under the keyword wine law,

Graphics: © Norbert FJ Tischelmayer

World's largest wine knowledge database, made with by our author Norbert Tischelmayer.

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