The language of wine contains a wealth of meanings that are not all too familiar, particularly the technical interpretations. The glossary describes and offers an explanation to the most common terms.
the Austrian category for quality wine
Qualitätswein (quality wine) is a highly regulated Austrian wine category. According to Austrian wine legislation, the following criteria must be adhered to: the grapes must originate from a winegrowing region, the minimum must weight required is at least 15° KMW, the maximum yield is restricted to 9,000 kg of grapes or 6,750 litres of wine, the alcohol content must attain at least 9% by volume, the Qualitätswein must be sent for chemical analysis and pass a sensory tasting commission. Austrian Qualitätsweine are easily recognisable by their red-white-red control slip banderoles on the capsule, as well as the Federal Inspection Number on the wine label. Within the quality wine structure, the category of Kabinett plays a special role, as additional requirements have to be fulfilled. The EU defines "Wines with Protected Geographical Indication" and "Wines with Protected Designation of Origin". Prime examples of these wines within this category are the Austrian DAC wines.
The definition of quality in wine in Austria (and other countries for that matter) generally means that the minimum legal requirements for quality wine ("Qualitätswein" in Austria) are more than fulfilled. There are also a whole range of official and unofficial parameters and descriptions that attempt to simplify the subjective perception of quality, yet in cases, even the most astute consumers appear confused. In Austria, the DAC designation aims to ease the identification of regionally typical Qualitätswein.