AP number

or Amtliche Prüfungsnummer

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

AP number or Amtliche Prüfungsnummer, adorns the label of every bottle of German qualitätswein. This 10- to 12-digit number is an outward sign that the wine has passed germany’s much-vaunted official testing procedure, which involves submitting samples of the wine to analysis and a blind tasting test in which the wine is checked for faults by a changing panel of fellow winemakers and other tasters. The test is hardly the most stringent procedure; the pass rate is well above 90%. The first digit signifies which of the country’s testing stations awarded the AP number (1 for Koblenz, 2 for Bernkastel, 3 for Trier—all three in the mosel-saar-ruwer—4 for Alzey in rheinhessen, 5 for Neustadt in the pfalz, 6 and 7 for Bad Kreuznach in the nahe, where wines from saale-unstrut and sachsen were also tested in the mid 1990s). The next code signifies the location of the vineyard. The penultimate pair of digits is the most significant, the bottler’s own code, which supplies a unique identification of the particular lot. If a vintner has bottled two or more wines of otherwise identical labelling (same site, Prädikat, and degree of dryness) this number is often used to distinguish them. The final two digits signify the year in which the wine was tested.