Qualitätswein

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Qualitätswein is what pdo wines are called in German. This is Germany’s largest wine category and in practice includes all those wines once known as qba (as opposed to qmp wines which have been renamed prädikatswein). The grapes must originate in one of germany’s 13 official wine regions and reach minimum must weights specified for each region, and which may vary by grape variety. In the cool Ahr, Mittelrhein, Mosel, and Saale-Unstrut, for example, Riesling need reach only 6% potential alcohol, in other regions 7%, while in Baden QbA must meet a minimum of 8% regardless of grape variety. Wines in this category may still be chaptalized but, thanks to climate change and improved viticultural techniques, chaptalization has become much rarer. Encouraged by vdp protocols, an increasing number of producers are selling all dry (trocken and halbtrocken) wines as Qualitätswein, reserving Prädikatswein designations for noticeably sweet wines.