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The “A.P.” Number on German Wine

German wines carry an “A.P. number,” which can give you a lot of information if you’re so inclined to parse the number and do the research.

Frankly, I’m not.

But if you must know, the AP number is like an Internet IP address, but with five sets of numbers rather than four, separated by spaces rather than dots.

The first number indicates the region, the second the village or town, the third number is the estate, the fourth is the barrel or bottling, and the last number is the year that the wine was tasted before bottling.

Of course, you have to know what all these numbers mean, or else it’s like E.T. looking at a can of beer. And we know what happened to him.


David Gaier is a 15-year wine educator, collector, student, and aficionado. He built and has operated since 2006.

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