In Germany and Austria, but also in other Central European countries, valid designation in the national language for a special predicate wine (for exact regulations see under the countries). Some legends about the "invention" of Spätlese are described under Spätlesereiter and Trockenbeerenauslese. Today, such wines are less associated with the fact of a late harvest (which would also be relatively difficult to control), but the only wine-legal criterion is a minimum must weight (sugar degrees in Oechsle or KMW), which requires fully ripe and thus sweet grapes. The date of the grape harvest therefore has no legal significance (any more), although it does of course have an influence on it (the later, the riper). Although a Spätlese is often medium sweet to sweet, it can also be vinified dry.
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