German wine - wine basics
Must weight of wine - Germany
The must weight is expressed as Oechsle degrees (°Oe) and can be measured on a thermometer-like device called a hydrometer, which has a graduated scale that compares the specific gravity of the must to the specific gravity of water.
From this rating, the potential alcohol level of the finished wine can be determined, the basis for quality category classification.
Different grape varieties ripen at different times - the Müller-Thurgau around the end of September; the Riesling in mid- to late October or November, depending on the weather and the vineyard site (micro-climate, soil structure).
It is the vintner who determines how long to risk leaving his grapes on the vine. A sudden frost or long period of rain could destroy the crop. Starting in late summer, the winegrower as well as the local authorities begin to measure how much sugar has developed in the grapes' juice, or must, which is a indication of ripeness. The sugar content can be measured in the vineyard by the vintner using a refractometer.
QmP-wines must have higher must weights (Oechslegrades):
|Min. must weight:||starting from: [°Oe]|