The VDP.CLASSIFICATION is not part of the official German wine law but rather an in-house statute of Gemany’s Prädikat wine estates in which the quality of a wine is defined according to “terroir,” i.e., origin and quality are inherently linked. Although the classification is only binding for VDP member estates, it is seminal for quality-oriented German viticulture as a whole.
The goal of the VDP.CLASSIFICATION is to assess the quality potential of Germany’s very best vineyard sites; secure the future of Germany’s unique viticultural landscape; restore esteem for Germany’s outstanding dry wines; and underscore the traditional connotation of the Prädikats as attributes reserved for wines with natural, ripe sweetness.
The four-tier VDP.CLASSIFICATION is the key to terroir-driven viticulture in Germany.
Watch the video: The Classification - The Film
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.
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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.
VDP.ORTSWEINE, or village wines, originate from a village’s good, traditional vineyards that are planted with grape varieties typical of their region. Yield restrictions are also a criterion for wines of this category.
VDP.GUTSWEINE, or regional wines, originate from an estate’s holdings within a region. They are entry-level house wines that meet the general quality standards prescribed by the VDP and provide a good introduction to the VDP’s hierarchy that inherently links wine quality with origin