German Wine Terms

Our ever-expanding list of German wine terms.


Beerenauslese (BA)

Meaning "berry select harvest," this wine label term is used to indicate a quality tier in the Prädikatswein systems used in Austria and Germany. In both countries grape berries are hand-selected for the presence of noble rot (Botrytis cinerea). BA wines are typically dessert wines. For wines to qualify as Beerenauslese in Germany, grape must density is between 110–128 ºOe (between 26–29.8 ºBx) with a potential alcohol of 15%–17.6% ABV. For wines to qualify as Beerenauslese in Austria, grape must density must be at or above 127 ºOe (29.6 ºBx) with a potential alcohol level at or above 17.5% ABV.



"Ice wine" in German and Austrian. Grapes for ice wines are harvested and pressed while still frozen.



In Austrian and German halbtrocken means "half-dry." In Austria, wines may have between 10–18 g/L RS (depending on acidity level). In Germany, wines may have 10–18 g/L RS unless they are labeled "Classic" and then they will have no more than 15 g/L RS.



A German and Austrian wine term. In Austria, Kabinett is a Qualitätswein with slightly higher production standards. In Germany, Kabinett is the first tier of the Pradikat quality wine system which quantifies wine quality by ripeness of grapes (measured in Oechsle or °Oe). Kabinett wines are harvested between 67-82 °Oe.



An Austrian and German term describing medium-sweet wines with up to 45 g/L residual sugar (RS).


Süss (Süß)

A German wine term for a sweet wine with more than 45 g/L residual sugar (RS).



A German and Austrian wine term for dry wines which may contain up to 9 g/L RS (depending on their level of acidity). In Germany, when Trocken is used in combination with "Selection" (and is a wine from Rheingau) it means the grapes were hand-harvested.

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