In many countries, in years when grapes cannot reach full ripeness, beet or cane sugar will be added to the grape juice prior to fermentation. By increasing the sugar content of the grape must, the winemaker is making sure that the wine will have a sufficient level of alcohol after fermentation. This process is called chaptalization and is a common practice in France (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace) and Germany. In Germany all wines except those having the QmP (Qualitätswein mit Prädikat) designation may be chaptalized.
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