QbA is Germany’s largest wine category. It is equivalent to the lower echelons of what is referred to as “quality wine,” or Qualitätswein. As the literal translation suggests, the main requirement for a QbA wine is that all of the wine in a bottle with the QbA designation must originate from one of Germany’s 13 designated wine areas.

In terms of must weight, the grapes have to attain a particular minimum degree of maturity. These are very specifically listed for each type of grape and each area. For instance, in the Arh area, Mittelrhein region, and Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region, the traditional Riesling grape variety only needs to reach a must weight of 51° Oechsle (corresponding to a potential level of alcohol of 6.1%, less than 15° BRIX). On the other hand, in Baden, the most southern wine region, the Roter Traminer and Ruländer grape varieties must reach 72° Oechsle.

QbA wines must be made from the recommended grape varieties. Unlike QmP wines, QbA wines can have their alcohol level raised through enrichment.

The vast majority of German wines that are exported fall under the QbA wine category. Some German high-quality wine growers also have a propensity to downgrade some of their wines (that would qualify to the Kabinett or Spätlese categories otherwise) to this category.

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