In a move to simplify wine labels, the German state of Rheinland-Palatinate approved a name change of the wine region Mosel-Saar-Ruwer to Mosel. The change comes after lobbying by Weinbauverband, the association of Mosel-Saar-Ruwer grape growers, and will take effect in January 2008, for the release of the 2007 vintage.
The growers claimed that the name Mosel-Saar-Ruwer on wine labels was confusing because most consumers could not identify different vineyards of the Mosel, Saar or Ruwer valleys (the Saar and the Ruwer are tributaries that run into the Mosel River, which empties into the Rhine River farther north). Some consumers, they argued, even thought the wines were a blend of grapes from all three subregions.
"One word, Mosel, is easier to understand and easier to keep in mind," said Nik Weis, whose family owns St.-Urbans-Hof and farms vineyards in both the Mosel and Saar subregions. "I think it's a typical German problem that we try to declare every little detail on the label and, at the end, that's what makes the labels complicated."
In addition to the Mosel change, made official on Aug. 9, the designation Qualitätswein mit Prädikat, the term indicating the highest level of quality among German wines, has been shortened to Prädikatswein. Within the Qualitätswein mit Prädikat level of quality are the designations kabinett, spätlese, auslese, beerenauslese, eiswein and trockenbeerenauslese, which remain unchanged.
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