German terminology

German wine terminology, together with common tasting descriptors. This is work in progress, corrections and additions are most welcome. I have not followed the German rule of capitalisation of nouns. Words that are the same in both languages, or so similar as to be readily recognisable, are not included in the primary German listing. Firstly some associate notes on classification and sweetness …

  1. German wine classification
  2. Is this German wine dry?

– A –
abfüller
  bottler or shipper.
abgang  finish.
abweichung  deviation, useful when driving in Germany.
absetzbehälter  settling tank.
absetzen  settling.
alkoholische gärung   alcoholic fermentation.
alleinbesitz  monopole.
alte reben  old vines.
anbaugebiet  wine region, there are 13: Ahr, Baden, Franken, Hessische Bergstrasse, Mittelrhein, Mosel (until 2007 Mosel-Saar-Ruwer), Nahe, Pfalz, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Sachsen, Saale-Unstrut, and Württemberg.
anis  anise.
apfelmilchsäuregärung oder malolaktische gärung malolocatic fermentation.
apfelsäure  malic acid.
aprikose  apricot.
ausgebaut  aged, ageing, mature, maturation.
ausgeprägt  pronounced.
ausgewogen  balanced.
auslese  selection.

– B –
backpflaume
  prune (as in dried plum).
beeren  berries eg roten beeren [red berries], schwarze Johannisbeere [blackcurrant], blaubeere [blueberry], brombeere [blackberry], erdbeere [strawberry], himbeere [raspberry], holunderbeere [elderberry], maulbeere [mulberry], rote Johannisbeere [redcurrant], wacholderbeere [juniper berry].
beerenauslese  selected berries.
benzin  petrol.
bereich  wine district, there are 39, which together constitute the 13 anbaugebieten, eg there are 6 bereichen in the Mosel anbaugebiete: Bereich Moseltor, B.Ruwertal, B.Saar, B.Obermosel, B.Bernkastel and B.Burg Cocheim.
beschneiden  to prune.
biodynamischer wein  biodynamic wine.
biowein  organic wine.
birne  pear.
bitterkeit  bitterness.
bleichert  rose’ wine.
blumig  floral scent eg holunderblaumen [elderflower], pfingstrose [peony], schwertlilie [iris], rose, veilchen [violets].
braten roast.
brettanomyces  brettanomyces.
bukett  bouquet, nose.
buttrig  buttery.

– D –
dekantiert
  decant.
deckwein  teinturier-based wine.
doppelbogen  head trained with a double arched cane (heart-shaped cane pruning regime).
duftig  fragrant.
dunkle schokolade  dark chocolate.
durchgegoren  fermented to dry.

– E –
echtem mehltau
  powdery mildew.
edelfäule  noble rot.
edelstahl  stainless steel.
eiche  oak.
einschenken  to pour.
einzelpfahlerziehung  a single vine tarined toa single stake as in the steep vineyards of the Mosel and Rhine.
eisenstein  ironstone.
eiswein  ice wine.
enthält  sulfite  contains sulphites.
entstielen  to destem.
entwicklungspotential  ageing potential, development potential.
erde  soil eg eisenstein [ironstone], gletscherboden [glacial soil], granit, kalkstein [limestone], kies [gravel], lehmboden [loamy soil], mergal [marl], nährboden [fertile soil], schwemmboden [alluvial soil], unfruchbareboden [infertile soil].
ernte oder lese  harvest.
etikett  label, tag.

– F –
falschen mehltau 
 downy mildew.
farbe  colour, hue eg braun, gelb [yellow], gold, grüne, rot [red], rubinrot [ruby], schwarz [black], tawny, violett [purple], weiss [white].
fass  barrel.
feige  fig.
feinhefelagerung  aging on fine lees.
feinherb  an unregulated term, consensus is off-dry to medium-dry, similar to and slightly sweeter than halbtrocken.
flachbogen  head trained cane pruned ie guyot.
flasche  bottle.
flaschengärung  bottle fermented
fruchtbare boden  fertile soil.
fruchtig   fruity.
früchte aus obstplantagen  orchard fruit eg apfel, birne [pear], quitte [quince]
fuder  large wooden cask, oval in cross-section.

– G –
gären
  to ferment.
gärung  fermentation.
gaumen  palate.
gerüst  structure.
geschmack – taste.
getrockneten früchten  dried fruits eg sultanintraube, datteln, trockene feige [dried figs].
getrockneten kräutern  dried herbs.
getrockneten zitrusfrüchte  dried citrus.
gewürz  spice eg anis, curry, ingwer [ginger], saffran, vanille.
gewürznelke  clove.
gipfeln  head prune.
goldgelbe vergilbung  flavescence doree.
grasig  grassy.
grauwacker  greywacke, an immature sedimentary rock characterised by coarse grains and >15% clay content.
grundwein  base wine.
grüne paprika  green or bell pepper.
gutsabfüllung  bottled at the estate.

– H –
halbbogen
  head trained with a single arched cane.
halbtrocken   medium-dry, with 9-18g/l RS, depending on balancing acidity level.
handgerüttelt  hand riddled.
hanglagen  hillside plantings.
haselnuß oder hazelnuss  hazelnut.
hauch  hint.
hefe  yeast.
holunderblumen  elderflower.
honig  honey.
humusschicht  leaf humus.
hybrid rebsorten  hybrid vine variety.
hydraulische presse  hydraulic press.

– I –
industriewein
  industrial wine.
inhalt  contents.

– J –
jahrgang
  vintage.

– K –
kabinett
  not bone dry, >4g/l RS, seen 54-58g/l RS.
kalkstein  limestone.
kaltmazeration oder kalteinweichung  cold maceration.
kastanie  chestnut.
kellermeister  cellar master.
kies  gravel.
kohlensäure  carbonic acid.
kohlensäure einweichung oder kohlensaure mazeration  carbonic maceration.
kokosnuß oder kokonuss  coconut.
kork  cork eg naturkork, synthetischkork.
krankheit  disease.
kräutern  herbs.
kreide  chalk.

– L –
lakritz
oder süßholz  liquorice.
länge  length.
lang in abgang  a long finish.
leder  leather.
lehm  loam.
leicht  light.
lese oder ernte  harvest.
lieblich  medium sweet 18-45g/l RS.
limetten  lime.

– M –
malolaktische gärung
 oder apfelmilchsäuregärung  malolocatic fermentation.
mandel  almond.
manuelle ernte  hand harvest.
mergal  marl.
mischung  blend.
mittlergaumen  mid-palate.
most  wine must.
muskat oder muskat nuß  nutmeg.

– N –
nachgeschmak
  aftertaste.
nachlauf/vorlauf  tails/heads.
nährboden oder fruchtbare boden  fertile soil.
nase  nose, as opposed to palate.
nüssen  nuts, eg mandel [almond], walnuß, haselnuß.

– O –
oxidiert
 oxidised.

– P –
pampelmusen
  grapefruit.
perlwein  semi-sparkling wine 1-2atm pressure.
pfirsich  peach.
primäraromen  primary aroma.

– R –
rauch
  smoke.
reben  vine.
rebenblatt  vine leaf.
rebsorte  variety (of grape).
reif  ripe.
reinsortig  varietal wine.
reinzuchthefen  cultured yeast.
restsüße oder restzucker  residual sugar.
rotwein  red wine.
rütteln  riddling.

– S –
sand(igen)  sand(y).
satz  sediment.
säure  acidity.
schaumwein  sparkling wine.
schnecken presse  screw press.
schokolade  chocolate.
schönung  fining.
schieffer  shale, slate.
schwarzfäule  black rot.
schwefel  sulphur.
schwemmboden  alluvial soil.
schwenken  to swirl.
schwerkraftzuführung  gravity feed.
secco   shortened form of prosecco, which annoys the Italians, sparkling wine ~3atm pressure.
sekt  full German sparkling wine, can be second ferment in bottle, trasfer or tank method.
seldige  silky.
sekundäromen  secondary aroma.
spätlese  late harvest.
spontanen vergärung  spontaneous fermentation.
stark  strong.
steinobst  stone fruit eg aprikose, kirsch, nektarine, pfirsich [peach].
süffig  easy to drink, smooth.
süss  sweet, with >45g/l RS.
süßholz oder lakritz  liquorice.

– T –
tabak
  tobacco.
tannin struktur  tannin structure.
tartarsäure  tartaric acid.
tertiäraromen  tertiary aroma.
tief  deep, as in hue.
ton  clay.
toniger boden  clay soil.
traube  grape.
traubenpresse  grape press.
trocken  dry, with >4 <=9g/l RS, depending on balancing acidity level.
trockenbeeren auslese  raisined berries.
tropischen früchten  tropical fruit eg ananas [pineapple], banane, guave, litschi [lychee], mango, papaya, passionsfrucht.

– U –
uberreifen
  overripe.
unfruchtbare boden  infertile soil.
ungefiltert  unfiltered.
unreif  unripe.
unterlagsrebe  vine rootstock.

– V –
vollmundig
  full-bodied.
vorlauf/nachlauf  heads/tails.
vulkanischen böden oder v… erde  volcanic soil.

– W –
walnuß
  walnut.
weinbau  viticulture.
weinberater  wine consultant.
weinberg  vineyard.
weinfass  wine barrel.
weingut  wine estate.
weinig  winey.
weinkellerei  winery.
weinkontor  wine merchant.
weinproben  wine tasting.
weintraube  grape bunch.
weintrub  wine lees.
weisswein  white wine.
winzer  winemaker.
würzig  spicy.

– Z –
zart
  delicate.
zentralgenossenschaft oder zentralkellerei  cooperative.
zerdrücken   to crush.
zitronen  lemon.
zitronensäure  citric acid.
zitrusfrüchte  citrus eg orange, limetten [lime], neroli, pampelmusen [grapefruit], zitronen [lemon].
zucker  sugar.
zunge  tongue.

Updated 14/08/16

About citbp

I am interested in everything about wine, from site selection to tasting.
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