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GENERAL WINE TERMS

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Term Definition
Apple, appley

Tasting term used to indicate the lively fruity acidity of a young white. Bruised apple taste can indicate oxidation, in reds or whites.

Approved Viticultural Areas (AVAs)

US appellation system, defining regions entitled to a geographical designation for their wines.

Are

Unit of area, equal to 100m2. The hectare is 100 ares (2.47 acres), and most west European vineyards are measured in hectares. The decare (10 ares, or one-tenth of a hectare) is used in parts of Eastern Europe.

Aromatic

Tasting term used to indicate a wine with a positive, agreeable smell. Also, a class of grapes (e.g. the Muscat family) which are particularly fragrant.

Ascorbic Acid

Vitamin C. Sometimes added to white wines as a preservative.

Assemblage

Blending of different vats, and sometimes different grape varieties. Also used to indicate the composition of such a blend.

Astringent

Tasting term used to indicate a sharp bitterness. Usually a fault, a wine may become less astringent with ageing.

Asz

Hungarian term, used on Tokaji labels, indicating that botrytis affected grapes were used.

Ausbruch

Austrian sweet-wine category, coming between Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese in ripeness.

Auslese

German quality white wine category, meaning selected harvest. Grapes are picked at least a week after Sptlese. Minimum must weights are laid down according to variety and region. Normally sweet.

Austere

Tasting term, usually indicating a lack of richness or sweetness.

Autolysis

Process whereby dead yeast cells break down, to give a biscuity flavour. Found especially in Champagne and other quality sparkling wines.

Autovinificator

Fermentation vat, where the pumping over process is performed automatically, using the pressure of carbon dioxide gas generated during fermentation. Now largely replaced by the rotary fermenter.

AVA

Approved Viticultural Areas (AVAs) US appellation system, defining regions entitled to a geographical designation for their wines.

Azienda Agricola

Italian wine term, meaning wine estate, producing wine from its own grapes.

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