German top wines are not “born“ as such just because they are from specific sites or wine-growing estates. Neither names nor vineyard sites have the privilege to produce top wines for all times. Decisive is the specifically proven wine quality alone. Each year again, wine growers must prove themselves by the quality of their wines and vintages.
The TÜV Test of Wine
Since 1971 every quality wine undergoes a chemical and sensory test by the official service. The quality control test number that the testing commission assigns if a wine has passed the quality test must be indicated on the label. The test procedure of the quality control testing system is divided into three parts and ensures the minimum quality within the individual quality classes.
Apart from testing the bottled wine, autumn and cellar book must also be checked. Among others these books inform about the harvest amount, the grape varieties and must weights as well as about additional purchases and sales.
For chemical analysis the products are analysed in an officially approved wine laboratory. Here, the essential ingredients, as well as additives and the fulfilment of their threshold values are checked.
After certifying that the wine’s quality is flawless with respect to chemical and physical matters, three sample bottles are submitted for the official sensory test. Based on a five-point scale an independent commission of representatives of the wine industry, viticultural research, the sales sectors, the consuming public and wine control taste the wine grower’s products.
In this way the sensory test ensures the flavour-related quality standard and largely excludes that wines with optical or flavour-related errors enter the market.
Prizes as Orientation Help
Apart from the legally prescribed test the German Agricultural Society (“Deutsche Landwirtschaftsgesellschaft (DLG)”) as well as further organisations or associations offer quality labels which can be helpful for the consumer when selecting wine. With these prizes wines of superior quality are marked. All of these different competitions have one thing in common: the wines are tested blindly by an independent commission. This procedure enables the highest possible objectivity.
(Source: German Wine Institute, www.deutscheweine.de as of 5 July 2011)