German Wines according to the Wine Ontology

Today I saw another Semantic Web application that used the Wine Ontology from the OWL 1 Guide as an example, and once more I – coming from a German wine producing region – stumbled upon the strange “German” wines listed in that ontology: SchlossRothermelTrochenbierenausleseRiesling and SchlossVolradTrochenbierenausleseRiesling. The ontology itself traces back to a 1991 publication on the CLASSIC knowledge representation system by Peter F. Patel-Schneider, Deborah L. McGuinness, and Alex Borgida.

I’m creating this blog post to contribute yet another occurrence of the word “Trochenbierenauslese” to the Web. All occurrences that Google currently lists are related to the Wine Ontology. The correct term would be “Trockenbeerenauslese” (literally “selected harvest of dried berries”). “Trochenbierenauslese” seems to be an uncommon misspelling; Google lists a few hits for “trochenbieren” and “bierenauslese” each. (Note that “Bier” in German means “beer” ;-) )

Then I wanted to learn where the “Schloss Volrad” and “Schloss Rothermel” wineries are.  The former one is actually named “Schloss Vollrads” (literally “Vollrad’s castle”) and located in the Rheingau region. While “Rothermel” exists as a German surname, “Schloss Rothermel” does not exist except in the Wine Ontology.  This will be likely to frustrate any attempt to geo-tag the Wine Ontology.  Or maybe one of the actual winemakers named Rothermel might want to register that brand?  This one from the Baden region, for example.  (Would be a nice contribution to the Semantic Web community, as that is not far away from Karlsruhe.)

What to do now?  Cool URIs don’t change. So why not showcase yet another feature of OWL in the Wine Ontology?  It would be interesting to deprecate those wrong URIs and see how the multitude of examples using the Wine Ontology handles that.

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