Designation for the second largest unit of wine-growing area in Germany after the wine growing region, followed by Großlage and Einzellage. This designation was created by the 1971 wine law to give larger producers the opportunity to market their wines produced in large quantities under a single name. The area is (like the Großlage) controversial. Critics even speak of a consumer deception, as the names are often very similar or even identical to those of individual sites. An extreme example of this is the only area Johannisberg in the Rheingau that bears the same name as the most famous single vineyard. Many quality-conscious winegrowers therefore do not even mention the area or vineyard on the label.
The designation applies to several sites from whose yields wines of similar flavour are produced and which are located in close proximity to each other in the same wine-growing region. Since 1989, the word "area" has only had to precede the area name if the area name is identical or confusable with another geographical name. Currently, 40 areas are registered in the 13 production areas. With nine areas, the Baden production area is in the lead; Ahr, Nahe and Rheingau have only one. See also under Origin as well as a list of all keywords relevant to vines under Vineyards.