Unregulated term of approbation referring to German Rieslings. Use of gold capsules to signify superior quality was a response, initially and still primarily in the Mosel, to the 1971 German Wine Law's prohibition on labels of traditional terms such as Cabinet, feine, feinste, or hochfeinste.
Spanish term used both to describe the process of ageing a wine and also for the youngest officially recognized category of a wood-matured wine. A crianza wine must have spent a minimum of six months in cask.
French term for the intricate traditional method described in detail in sparkling winemaking. From 1994 the term was outlawed by EU authorities in favour of one of the following: méthode traditionelle; méthode classique; méthode traditionelle classique; fermented in this bottle and traditional method.
Sometimes known as grey mould and sometimes just rot, the malevolent form of botrytis bunch rot and one of the most harmful of the fungal disease that attack vines. In this undesirable bunch rot form, the botrytis cinerea fungus rapidly spreads throughout the berry flesh and the skin breaks down.
French term meaning "bled" for a winemaking technique which results in a rosé wine made by running off, or "bleeding", a certain amount of free-run juice from just-crushed dark-skinned grapes after a short, prefermentation maceration.
White winemaking technique wheereby the grapes are not subjacted to destemming and bunches of ripe grapes are pressed whole, with the stems used as conduits for what can often be particularly viscous juice.
Contrasts with protective and reductive winemaking in that the winemaker deliberately exposes the wine to oxygen at various stages in the winemaking process in order to encourage certain reactions and achieve a particular style of wine. Oloroso Sherry being an extreme example.
Common winemaking practice, named after its French promulgator Jean-Antoine Chaptal, whereby the final alcoholic strength of a wine is increased by addition of sugar to the grape juice or must, before and/or during fermentation, although if it is added before, the higher sugar level will make it harder for the yeast to multiply.
The most famous northern Rhône appellation of all, producing extremely limited quantities of seriously long-lived reds and about a third as much full-bodied dry white wine which some believe is even more distinguished. Hermitage was one of France's most famous wines in the 18th and 19th centuries when the name alone was sufficient to justify prices higher than any wine other than a first growth bordeaux.