The Wines of Germany 101
A Snooth Article Classic
Since Germany is experiencing a bit of a dry wine revolution it is worth exploring some of the denominations that are used to identify these wines and what explicitly they promise.
Selection Rheinhessen: refers to dry varietal wines from the Rheinhessen produced using traditional grape varieties.
Rheinhessen Sylvaner RS: specifically reserved for Sylvaner from the Rheinhessen of the highest quality and fermented dry
DC Pfalz: a designation denoting dry Riesling, or any of the Pinot grapes along with Dornfelder produced from grapes grown in the Pfalz
Erstes Gewächs: literally ‘first growths’, this was a pioneering program used to identify wines from the Rheingau that are produced from Riesling or Spatburgunder in a dry style with the added requirement that the grapes come from the best vineyards sites as determined by a regional classification.
Grosses Gewächs: Literally 'Great Growths' as a designation in all regions but the Rheingau to identify the highest quality dry wines produced from top vineyard sites
Grosse Lage;: formerly known as Erstes Lage and referring to wines that come from the traditional grape varieties grown in the top sites in Germany as determined by the local governing authorities. Not necessarily dry and not to be confused with Erstes Gewachs.