German wine - wine basics
Seals and/or regional awards (Auszeichnungen)
The German Wine Seal and/or regional awards may appear on the bottle. In order to achieve this distinction, a wine must be submitted to an additional voluntary sensory test and must achieve a higher rating than the minimum required for the A.P.-Number.
A.P. Number: Amtliche Prüfungsnummer; 12-digit number of German quality wine. The A.P. shows, that the wine has passed the official tasting procedure (analysis, blind tasting test).
These seals follow a colour-coding system outlined above to identify trocken or halbtrocken wines:
- a yellow seal denotes trocken or dry,
- lime green indicates halbtrocken or off-dry and
- a red seal usually indicates a wine which is somewhat sweeter, but with a balanced fruity acidity.
From the rich abundance of German wines, the best are selected for awards each year. These quality competitions among winegrowers take place on a regional and a national level.
The winning wines can be recognized by an additional neck label indicating a gold, silver or bronze award (regional) or a Grosser Preis (grand prize) or silver or bronze prizes (national).
The top award Grosser Preis Extra (grand prize extra) is given to wine with an outstanding quality.
Most important for wine quality is still the wine producers name, because not every wine grower is using those seals on his bottles.