VDP wines are the créme de la créme of the German wine world. Hardly more than 200 of the tens of thousands of wineries in Germany can call themselves members of the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates.
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VDP wines promise the highest quality. Because wherever the VDP eagle adorns the bottle, it contains the best wine from German lands. Since 1910, the VDP has crystallized as the self-proclaimed avant-garde of wines to distance itself from mass wines and mediocrity. For the Prädikat wineries, the focus is on individuality and authenticity, which are clearly reflected in the wine with the eagle on the banderole.
The quality levels of the VDP primarily refer to the origin, similar to France. The smaller and more precisely the site is declared, the higher the quality. Each vineyard and wine region has its own character. Soil, wind, heat during the day, cold at night. A complex terroir, moreover, sharpened by the peculiarities and drive of the VDP winemakers. Anyone who drinks VDP wine tastes the land in all its facets. Wine culture is what wine connoisseurs call it, and the VDP calls it soulful wine.
The quality levels of the VDP
The key is in the origin. And in no other wine is more origin in it, than in the Grosse Lage wine of the VDP. These famous, precisely delimited Kleinlagen have existed in many cases for centuries and have always produced great wines. The often tiny plots open up unique characteristics due to special conditions in the soil and climate. In the hands of masterful winemakers, Grosse Lage wines of the highest quality are produced, which also attract international attention. Dry wines from these sites are designated by the VDP as Grosses Gewächs (GG).
Erste Lage wines stand for individual and authentic taste from clearly defined sites. With the help of yield reduction and the focus on a few grape varieties, the character of the site can be experienced in the glass. Dry examples of the Erste Lage wines are called VDP Erstes Gewächs (1G).
A village usually has a central marketplace, a church, many houses and - important for the wine - a unique terroir. The VDP.Ortswein originates from the vineyards within a village and immediately presents a locally typical taste from locally typical grape varieties.
The Gutswein forms the basis of the quality levels and may be of simple origin, but possibly shows the skill of a winery at its best. In the glass, it shows the profile of the region, since the wines come from the estate-owned vineyards, which can be scattered throughout the region. The fact that the wines from several sites are nevertheless of excellent quality is due to the winemaker and his skill.
The approximately 200 wineries naturally also create noble sweet wines and are marked by the VDP with the classic predicates Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein.
VDP wine originates from strict guidelines
Not only the origin is important to the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates, but also the sustainable work in the vineyard and cellar must meet the highest standards. In fact, the rules that the VDP prescribes for winemakers trump those of the legislature for the predicate "quality wine." Thus, in order for the winery to be a member of the VDP, it must follow various guidelines. These include environmentally compatible and environmentally friendly vineyard management, yield reduction to a maximum of 75 hectoliters per hectare, manual harvesting, cultivation of grape varieties typical of the region and the renunciation of the designation of "Großlagen".
A winery can even have its title revoked if it does not follow all the rules and principles. For example, if a winery sells its best sites, it will lose its affiliation with the VDP. The association demands a lot from the vintners so that they are allowed to present the magnificent eagle on the bottle. But how does one become a member of the VDP in the first place?
How does one become a VDP winery?
One can neither apply nor buy membership. To be accepted into the select circle, only first-class winemaking is of importance. If a winery receives great attention over the years thanks to its wine, members of the VDP can distribute an invitation for testing. Consequently, the winery is closely scrutinized. If it meets all the requirements, has an appropriate external image and has everything in its own hands from cultivation to marketing, it will henceforth belong to the association. Regular inspections ensure that the winery meets all the guidelines even after the test.
What makes a VDP wine
Quality without compromise. VDP wines are top wines with a strong character of origin.
The wine is closely linked to its origin and, thanks to individual terroir, always taste unique.
Since nature has a great influence on the origin-specific profile of the wine, the VDP winemakers are committed to the careful handling of flora and fauna.
To concentrate aroma and minerals, the winemakers reduce the yield - a plus for the taste.
Area-typical grape varieties best express the terroir. Thus, winemakers turn to the varieties Riesling, Silvaner and the Burgundy varieties.
All VDP vintners must pass numerous tests that go far beyond the legal guidelines. This voluntary commitment to quality is in every VDP wine.
Both on the vine and in the cellar, the wine is given due time to fully develop. From the vineyard to the cellar, as little influence as possible is exerted on the wine.
In a bottle of VDP wine is concentrated experience, knowledge and passion of winegrowing families who have been pressing for thousands of years and passing on enjoyment for generations.
The wine is the canvas, the winemaker the artist who creates with his craft in a very personal way.
Mostly on the neck of the bottle, occasionally on the label, the VDP eagle adorns the bottle - a sign of top wine, devoted winemakers and character typical of its origin.
Order VDP wine online
The Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates unites winegrowers from all wine-growing regions as well as outstanding specimens of German winemaking art. On VINELLO we have compiled a magnificent selection of VDP wine for you, which you can order easily and conveniently from home. Whether Großes Gewächs or Gutswein - fly over the best sites with the VDP eagle.
Things to know about VDP wines
What are VDP wines? VDP - Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates) - is an association of winemakers who use strict guidelines to create top wines with a strong local connection.
What does VDP Grosse Lage mean? Grosse Lage is the highest quality level of the VDP. It meant that the wine comes from a precisely limited site and thus has site-specific characteristics. A dry wine of Grosse Lage quality is called Großes Gewächs (GG).
What does Grosses Gewächs mean for wine? Großes Gewächs is the designation for a dry wine of Grosse Lage quality of the CDP quality system. It means that the wine comes from a clearly limited small vineyard.
What does the abbreviation VDP mean? The abbreviation VDP stands for Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter.
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