Grosses Gewächs (GG)

A term of distinction used for dry, single-variety wines from Germany’s leading vineyards, known as Grosse Lage (equivalent to grand cru vineyards in France’s Burgundy region). These wines must be labeled with "GG," their grape variety and the name of the vineyard from which they are made. They must also meet several production requirements. For example, they cannot be made from harvests exceeding 50 hectoliters of grapes per hectare (approximately 2.5 acres), their grapes must be harvested by hand and they can only be made using traditional methods. The majority of these wines are Riesling, but other grapes are allowed as well, depending on the region. These include, but are not limited to, Pinot Noir (aka Spätburgunder), Silvaner and Chardonnay. GG whites are released onto the market on September 1, about one year after harvest; the reds are released about two years after harvest, also on September 1, and must be aged for at least 12 months in oak barrels.