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Home  Our Selection  German Wine Award System
Introduction of Annual Wine Award System,
the Ministry of Agriculture, Rheinland-Pfalz
Gold Award Silver Award Bronz Award

The Ministry of Agriculture, the state of Rheinland-Pfalz in Germany every year holds gold, silver and bronze award evaluation for various wines from the state. The award evaluation started since 1970. Every year about 2500 wine-makers from six wine regions in Rheinland-Pfalz including Mosel, Ahr, Mittelrhein, Nahe, Rheingau and Pfalz submit 19,000 types of wine for the competition. Annually the tasting panel takes the sample from wine-makers between August till July of the second year in six times. The result is announced in August of the second year. The tasting panel also invites those wine lovers who have achieved special qualification to join the examination.

According to the German Wine law, after bottled, every German quality wine undergoes a critical, blind, sensory examination based on a five-point scale devised by the DLG (German Agricultural Society). The testing procedure is divided into two essential parts: judging whether specific prerequisites have been fulfilled; and the examination of a wines sensory characteristics. In the first phase, the tasting panel verifies whether or not the wine is typical of origin, grape variety and quality category stated on the application for the quality control test number (A. P. Nr.). Color and clarity are also evaluated. The test answers these questions with a simple "yes" or "no". Points are not awarded at this stage. However just one "no" among the answers disqualifies the wine from further assessment.

If the wine passes the preliminary examination, the sensory evaluation of three characteristics, bouquet, taste and harmony begins. "Harmony" embraces all the sensory impressions, include color. The overall balance between sweetness and acidity as well as alcohol and body are considered. Up to five points or fractions thereof can be awarded for each of the three characteristics, with a minimum of 1.5 points (per characteristic) necessary to avoid rejection. The sum total of the characteristics gives an overall evaluation that is divided by three to determine the wines quality rating number. The wine must achieve at least 1.5 points to receive a quality control test number.

The Ministry of Agriculture of the state Rheinland-Pfalz also uses the same testing procedure and "five-point system" to determine which wines merit awards and prizes. They separate different wine regions into different groups for example wine-makers from Mosel will be put together in one group to compete, and those from Rheingau will be in another group. Then subgroups will be set up according to the grape variety, style (dry, half-dry and sweet) and quality category (QbA, Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, TBA and Eiswein). For Riesling grape, there is an additional group of Riesling Hochgewächs which belong to QbA category.

If the test score is between 4.5-5, the wine can be granted Gold Award. If the test score is between 4-4.49, the wine will be granted Silver Award. If the test score is between 3.5-3.99, the wine will be granted Bronze Award. The wine-makers who achieved the awards can stick the award labels on the bottles for selling. Those labels can only be printed particularly by the Ministry of Agriculture of the state Rheinland-Pfalz.

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