VDP emphasizing, aligning and promoting backgrounds and qualites of German wines

 ”Wine is born in the vineyard” is an old, even passed truth, but still it is always true in every case. Roots of a viticulture and vinification are in terroir, its diversity, microclimate and grapes. This is the message that Verband Deutcher Prädikatsweingüter, voluntary wine producers’s organisation VDP, has highlighted from the very beginning over 110 years.


VDP is a private, voluntary organization of German top wine producers having 198 members at the moment. VDP’s goals are preserving the German wine culture, promoting high quality standards and environmentally friendly cultivation in the vineyards. VDP has strict rules for its members and winemaking; traditional single vine varieties, sustainable winegrowing, limited yields, manual harvesting, no chaptalization etc. VDP vineyards represent and cultivate ca. 5.5 % of the total vineyard areas in Germany. VDP wine producers have applied their own four-staircase classification since the vintage 2012 forward. Eagle is the quality sign of VDP organization.


VDP wine classification

VDP’s classification underlines the origin and terroir of the grapes when quantifying the quality of the wines! Vineyard is a dominant factor of quality with the principle ”the more identified origin, the better quality”.


VDP.Gutswein are basic wines from wineries, which links quality with the origins of grapes. These grapes lay the ground for the good and high quality wines. There are lightness and fruitiness among the wines, they are easily approachable and suitable for daily use.

VDP.Ortswein are wines that comes from the best vineyards in the villages. They identify the terroirs of the vineyards and the typical grapes of the wine area. Wines are food friendly with different kinds of food.

VDP.Erste Lage® are wines from the specified vineyards emphasizing the naturalness of the vineyard. They raise the issue of optimal growth conditions of vines and the soils that are suitable for the planting of the certain grape varieties. Essential reducing of the harvest quantity of grapes produces refined, nuanced and long aged wines. Wines made of traditional German grapes are challenging and can be compared with Premier Cru wines in Burgundy.

VDP.Grosse Lage® are flagship wines that comes from the best vineyards in Germany and their indentified sites. They represent the top of the classification within VDP pyramid where the wines possess exceptional aromas and layering. Wines that have refined details can be compared with Grand Cru wines in Burgundy.

 Grosses Gewächs – sign of a quality

Grosses Gewächs are the top level of very dry wines classified by VDP coming from the vineyards classified as Grosse Lage. GG identifies the very best German wines, that are full-bodied, dry, age-worthy. GG-wines can be released after the first of September of the year after harvest.


Another special highlight is the annual Sneak Preview of the VDP.GROSSES GEWÄCHS®. During the three-day tasting, one will have the opportunity to taste the VDP.GROSSES GEWÄCHS® wines of the respective region from the current vintages - 2020 for white wines, 2019 for red wines - as well as from other vintages not yet on the market.


VDP wine ambassadors

The VDP.Prädikatsweingüter have been running a program for a number of years, training a small group of international wine specialists, mainly wine educators, to become ambassadors for the association. VDP.Ambassador is a person who is interested in competently conveying information about the VDP and its members, quality standards that guarantee pure wine enjoyment, site classification and the spectrum of German wines to wine lovers abroad at seminars and tastings that are independently organized and conducted by the VDP.Ambassador. In a five-day VDP.training program in Germany participants had a program focused on a two-day training seminar with tastings and visits to various VDP.wineries in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region and three-day participation and tasting in the annual Sneak Preview of the VDP.GROSSES GEWÄCHS®.


On the right new VDP.Ambassadors; Heine Johansen (Norway), Sarka Dusková (Czech Rep.), Caro Maurer (MW as a teacher), Matteo Girardi (Italy), Byron Catechis (Suisse), Ronan Sayburn (UK), Laura Williamson (USA), Heikki Remes (Finland) among 40 previous other ambassadors around the world.

Ps. Wineman wishes that everyone wandering among wines finds his own path towards the rainbow and finds his own wine treausure at the end of the rainbow!

Text and photos: Heikki Remes, wineman from Finland

Photo Ambassadors: ©VDP by Peter Bender


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