The EU wine market reform, which came into force on 1 August 2009, focuses on the principle of origin in wine designation. According to this, a wine is of better quality the more narrowly its geographical origin can be defined. The new regulations distinguish between wines with protected designation of origin (PDO), wines with protected geographical indication (PGI) and wines without protected designation of origin. We have explained the background and terminology of the reform in detail in the first part of our series of articles.
The new wine designation law is relatively easy to implement in countries like Italy, France and Spain, as they use the Romance designation system for their wines, which is also based on the principle of origin. Germany and Austria, on the other hand, use the Germanic designation system, which is based on the quality principle. Here, wine quality is determined by the physiological ripeness of the grapes, which can be determined by the must weight: the higher the must weight (in Germany measured in degrees Oechsle, in Austria in degrees KMW for Klosterneuburger Mostwaage), the higher the quality of the wine according to this definition.