"The Chancellery is a customer of ours, but this is the first time they have used this wine," said Bernhard Breuer, owner of Weingut Georg Breuer.
Since the early 1990s, several leading estates in Germany have been pushing for a vineyard-based classification system within their respective regions, similar to the classification in the Burgundy region of France. In the Rheingau, the proposed system is loosely based on the taxation rates assessed to vineyards in the last century, as better sites paid higher rates.
Currently, German wine authorities do not recognize vineyard classifications or the use of "Erstes Gewachs" on labels, and some producers are opposed to the idea. In the existing wine law, quality is defined as ripeness at harvest, measured as the density of sugar in the grape must. The vineyard-based system would simply augment the current law.
"The mass-producing wine industry is reluctant," said Breuer, "but you must promote the flagship wines to achieve success in the market."
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