Austrian Wine Designations

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Austrian Wine Designations
2010-05-02 11:43:39
austria wine ripeness vyne

level of ripeness
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  1. Overview
    • the less ripe the grape, the lighter the body.
    • the more ripe the grape, the fuller the body.
    • ripeness is measured by the Klosterneuburger Mostwage scale (KMW): like the Oechsle in Germany, it measures the weight of the must (the thick, pulpy liquid of crushed grapes) at harvest. this corresponds to the amount of grape sugar present.
    • Four categories:
    • Tafelwein & Landwein: table wine
    • Qualitatswein: must come from a single wine region and made from an authorized grape variety. chaptalization is permitted (when sugar is added to unfermented grape juice to boost final alcohol level). there is one subgroup: Kabinett (must be of slightly riper grapes and no chaptalization)
    • Pradikatswein: top quality designation. six subgroups: Spatlese, Auslese, eiswein, beerenauslese, ausbruch, & trockenbeerenauslese (see flashcards--in ascending order of grape ripeness)
  2. Spatlese (1)
    • "late harvest"
    • grapes were fully ripe when picked
  3. Auslese (2)
    • "selected harvest"
    • very ripe grapes harvested bunch by bunch
  4. Eiswein (3)
    • "ice wine"
    • very ripe frozen grapes
    • grapes are allowed to freeze on the vine. gloved workers pick the grapes at night so as to not warm them before they are pressed. when pressed, the sweet, high-acid, concentrated juice is separated from the ice.
  5. Beerenauslese (4)
    • "harvest selected by berry"
    • very ripe grapes chosen individually by hand
    • some grapes may have been affected by botrytis
  6. Ausbruch (5)
    • must be made from overripe, botrytized, and naturally shrivelled grapes
    • (Ausbruch is the one category that Germany doesn't share)
  7. Trockenbeerenauslese (6)
    • "dry berry selected harvest"
    • aka TBAs are the richest, sweetest, rarest and most costly of all Austrian wines. produced only in exceptional years, they are made from individual grapes shriveled almost to raisins by botrytis.