Late Harvest Sweet Wine Production in California and Europe
There are some great examples these wines from the Anderson Valley AVA using the Riesling and Gewurztraminer grapes. But they have traditionally been made in Germany using Riesling. Some famous German late harvest wines include Spatlese and Auslese.
Spatlese translates to “late harvest,” and refers to grapes that are classified as riper than Kabinett but not as ripe as Auslese. By law, grapes used to make this wine must be picked no less than a week after the normal harvest time. Warm years produce the best vintages of Spatlese. These wines are not always overtly sweet, though they can be.
Auslese translates to “selected harvest,” and refers to grapes that are classified as riper than Spatlese. These grapes are hand picked as late as December in a very labor intensive process. Botrytis cinerea may infect some of the grapes, but it is not necessary to be classified as Auslese. These wines have high sugar content, but are not as sweet as Eiswein, Beerenauslese, or Trockenbeerenauslese.
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