Thanks to Donovan Ingram, inderpal singh and Nicholas Prevolos for weighing in on major geographical features of New Zealand last post.
This week: Grosses Gewächs
What does this term mean? What varieties does it apply to? What are the styles of wine produced?
Germany is without a Cru style system. This has been somewhat addressed by a group called Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (VDP). This is an independent group of German wine producers, not part of German wine law. They have classified the best vineyards in Germany. Grosses Gewäches (GG) applies to Qualitätsweine (dry) wines from best vineyard sites. Varieties are based on region. For example: Riesling is the only GG in Mosel. Riesling and Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) are the only GG wines in Rheingau.
These wines can be identified by a GG and a bunch of grapes embossed on the neck of the bottle.
I would also like to add that it must be trocken and has to be Qualitatswein since the government does not recognize it. The grapes must also be at least Spätlese level in ripeness. Permitted grapes do vary by region and from what I've seen so far Riesling, Spätburgunder, Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder, Silvaner, Chardonnay, and Lemberger can be GG wines. I may be missing a couple more.