VDP.GROSSE LAGEN are the very best vineyards of Germany and the source of the finest wines that reflect site-specifc characteristics. They are expressive, rich in complex flavors, and have exceptional aging potential. The sites are carefully determined and demarcated by the VDP regional associations.
Traditional varieties that are best suited to a particular site or parcel, as prescribed by each region. For additional details, please see the regional list of permissible grape varieties at the end of this section.1
Reduced yields of 50/hl/ha
HARVEST METHOD AND RIPENESS LEVEL
Grapes are harvested selectively by hand and must be at least ripe enough to qualify for Spätlese status (minimum starting must weight of at least 85 degrees Oechsle).
The wines are produced exclusively by traditioinal winemaking techniques.
In addition to regular VDP estate inspections, VDP.GROSSE LAGE wines are subject to additional examinations. Quality-oriented measures in the vineyard, particularly those affecting yields, are monitored in every site throughout the growing season and before the harvest. Prior to and after bottling, the wines are critically tasted and evaluated to determine whether they meet VDP.GROSSE LAGE criteria.
A dry wine from a VDP.GROSSE LAGE is designated VDP.GROSSES GEWÄCHS and is bottled in a special bottle embossed with the “GG” logo. The use of the adjective trocken is mandatory. Off-dry wines need no additional terminology – the use of the adjective halbtrocken is optional. The same applies to the adjective feinherb. 2
VDP.GROSSE LAGE wines with residual sweetness are labeled with one of the traditional Prädikats (Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein or Trockenbeerenauslese), provided they qualify for a specific Prädikat.
The name of the site (without the name of the village) is the appellation of origin of a VDP.GROSSE LAGE wine. It is indicated on the label along with the name of the wine estate and the grape variety. The use of a strip on the capsule to identify a VDP.GROSSE LAGE wine is mandatory.
As an exception, the GG logo can be printed on the front label in place of using the embossed bottle.
VDP.GROSSE LAGE Prädikat wines with residual sweetness make their market debut on 1 May of the year after the grapes were harvested.
VDP.GROSSE GEWÄCHSE white wines, on 1 September of the year after the grapes were harvested; red wines, on 1 September two years after the grapes were harvested, after having spent at least 12 months aging in oak casks.
1 The regional associations have approved the following varieties for VDP.GROSSE LAGE:
Ahr: Spätburgunder, Frühburgunder; exclusively for lusciously sweet wines: Riesling
Baden: Riesling, Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder, Spätburgunder, Chardonnay; only in the Badische Bergstrasse and Kraichgau districts: Lemberger
Franken: Riesling, Silvaner, Weissburgunder, Spätburgunder
Hessische Bergstrasse: Riesling, Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder, Spätburgunder
Mittelrhein: Riesling, Spätburgunder
Pfalz: Riesling, Weissburgunder, Spätburgunder
Rheingau: Riesling, Spätburgunder
Rheinhessen: Riesling, Spätburgunder
Saale-Unstrut: Riesling, Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder, Spätburgunder, Frühburgunder, Traminer, Silvaner
Sachsen: Riesling, Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder, Spätburgunder, Frühburgunder, Traminer
Württemberg: Riesling, Weissburgunder, Grauburgunder, Spätburgunder, Lemberger
2 Wines that legally qualify as off-dry (halbtrocken) Kabinett wines are permitted to be labeled as such during the grace period that ends in 2015. They have a minimum residual sugar content of 12 grams/liter.