The classification statute of the VDP defines the quality of a wine not only by the sugar content of the grape at the time of harvest, but also by its terroir, i.e. origin in conjunction with quality. Terroir is the focal point. As such, there is an abstention from using the name of a district, a collective vineyard site or a less-than-top individual site. Only wines that reflect the character of their terroir are permitted to bear the name of a vineyard site. Terroir is determined by three components, a “magic triangle” that includes (1) the overall quality and character of a vineyard site; (2) the skill of a grower; and (3) the quality of a vintage. Terroir is recognizable in a wine. The quality of a vineyard is defined by its soil (topographical position, climate and microclimate). Only certain grape varieties are well-suited for a specific terroir. Our knowledge about the best sites and the most suitable grape varieties is based on centuries of experience.
VDP.GROSSE LAGE designates the very best vineyards of Germany, within which the finest parcels have been narrowly demarcated. With their site-specific characteristics, these wines are particularly expressive and have exceptional aging potential.
They are planted with traditional varieties best suited to a particular site, as determined by each region.
A dry wine from a VDP.GROSSE LAGE is designated VDP.GROSSES GEWÄCHS and labeled "Qualitätswein trocken". A wine with natural, ripe sweetness from a VDP.GROSSE LAGE is labeled with one of the traditional Prädikats: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein or Trockenbeerenauslese.
Maximum yield is at 50hl/ha. The grapes have to be harvested by hand while the sugar content has to be at least at Spätlese level. The sweet VDP.GROSSE LAGE wines are presented on the 1st may. The white VDP.GROSSE GEWÄCHSE are presented on the 1st september, the red VDP.GROSSE GEWÄCHSE one year later.
VDP.ERSTE LAGE designates first-class vineyards with distinctive characteristics. They provide optimal growing conditions, as evidenced over a long period of time.
They are planted with traditional varieties, as determined by each region.
A dry wine from a VDP.ERSTE LAGE is labeled "Qualitätswein trocken". A wine with natural, ripe sweetness from a VDP.ERSTE LAGE is labeled with one of the traditional Prädikats: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein or Trockenbeerenauslese.
Maximum yield is at 60hl/ha. The grapes have to be harvested by hand while the sugar content has to be at least at Spätlese level. The VDP.ERSTE LAGE wines are presented on the 1st may.
VDP.ORTSWEINE originate from a village's best vineyards that are planted with grape varieties typical of their region.
A dry VDP.ORTSWEIN is labeled "Qualitätswein trocken".
A VDP.ORTSWEIN with natural ripe sweetness is labeld with one of the traditional Prädikats.
Maximum yield is at 75hl/ha.
VDP.GUTSWEINE are good, entry-level wines in the VDP's hierachy that inherently links wine quality with origin.
The wines originate from an estate's holdings within a region, and they meet the stringent standards prescribed by the VDP.