Öchsle Scale

In countries as far north as Germany (lattitude is the same as Winnipeg, Canada), grape ripeness is a major point of interest for winemakers due to the cool climate. German winemakers use the öchsle (/oeks-lǝ/) scale to measure the ripeness of grapes by estimating the amount of sugar in the grapes. The öchsle scale measures the density of grape juice relative to that of water. The denser the grape juice is than water, the more sugar it has, and the riper the grape is considered. A grape’s öchsle rating is measured in degrees with each degree signifying each gram per liter the grape juice exceeds the density of water. So when the density of a grape’s juice is 80 g/L more than water, that grape is considered to have an öchsle measurement of 80 degrees.