The VDP.Eagle unites around 200 of Germany’s finest wineries.
Any time that eagle adorns the neck of a wine bottle, it promises that the wine inside is of the highest quality! Here’s how the VDP member estates are organized...
The VDP and its around 200 members form the qualitative spearhead of German viticulture. The Association’s clear organizational structure is designed to ensure that it can effectively stand up for high quality standards in German wine at all times. It is divided into the VDP.National Association on one side and the ten regional associations on the other. The organs of the national association are the general assembly, the president’s council and the executive committee. At the general assembly, each region is accorded voting rights proportionate to their size in the federation. All winegrowers present at the meeting have the right to speak, of course. The president’s council comprises the president and his six vice-presidents. Together with the chairs of the regional associations and the managing director, this group forms the executive committee. The national VDP.Headquarters is located in Mainz, working in close cooperation with the regional offices in the association’s various regions.
Steffen Christmann is a man at the head of the VDP who embodies tradition and modernity in viticulture. Since 1996 he has managed the traditional family winery A. Christmann, whose roots reach back to the 17th century. Christmann is not only a trained winemaker, but also a fully qualified lawyer with admission as a lawyer. The fact that he nevertheless rejected a legal career and took over his parents' business testifies to his regional roots and his sense for the obligations of the family tradition.
A total of four VDP.Vice-presidents support Steffen Christmann in his work. The vice-presidents come from different winegrowing regions, ensuring that the differing needs of the regions are always taken into consideration in this committee. The current VDP vice-presidents are Moritz Haidle (VDP.Estate Karl Haidle, Württemberg), Meike Näkel (VDP.Estate Meyer-Näkel, Ahr), Wilhelm Weil (VDP.Estate Robert Weil, Rheingau) and Philipp Wittmann (VDP.Estate Wittmann, Rheinhessen). The terms of office of the President and Vice-Presidents are three years.
In a first step, the circle of the presidium will be expanded by co-opting winemakers of the next generation. The aim of this measure is the participation of the next generation in the association discourse as well as a broadening of the potential successors of the VDP.leadership also in terms of personnel.
Thus, Julian Huber (VDP.Estate Bernhard Huber) and Friedrich Keller (VDP.Estate Franz Keller) from Baden, Sebastian Fürst (VDP.Estate Rudolf Fürst) from Franconia, Caroline Diel (Schlossgut Diel (VDP)) and Cornelius Dönnhoff (VDP.Estate Dönnhoff) from the Nahe as well as Peter-Bernhard Kühn (VDP.Estate Peter Jakob Kühn) from the Rheingau followed the call of Steffen Christmann to the co-opted advisory board of the presidency, further appointments will follow. In this way, the VDP continues the idea of generational change in the staffing of the honorary office and takes another step in the development of young talent, which in the long term will assume responsibility in the association together with the existing board.
In addition to the President and the four Vice-presidents, the VDP.Executive committee also includes the regional executive committees and the managing director. The executive committee is responsible for oversight of the VDP.National Association between the general meetings. Members of the VDP.Executive committee beside Steffen Christmann and his four vice-Presidents are: Marc Adeneuer (VDP.Estate J. J. Adeneuer, Ahr), Robert Haller (VDP.Estate Bürgerspital zum Hl. Geist, Franken), Jochen Ratzenberger (VDP.Estate Ratzenberger, Mittelrhein), Dr. Carl von Schubert (VDP.Estate Maximin Grünhaus, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer), Hansjörg Rebholz (VDP.Estate Ökonomierat Rebholz, Pfalz), Johannes Hasselbach (VDP.Estate Gunderloch, Rheinhessen) Felix Ellwanger (VDP.Weingut Jürgen Ellwanger, Württemberg), Dr. Georg Prinz zur Lippe (VDP.Estate Schloss Proschwitz, Sachsen / Saale-Unstrut), Frank Schönleber (VDP.Weingut Emrich-Schönleber, Nahe), Wilhelm Weil (VDP.Weingut Robert Weil, Rheingau) and Joachim Heger (VDP.Weingut Dr. Heger, Baden).
Quality reflects origin – this is the VDP’s philosophy in a nutshell. It’s why we attach particular importance to origin in our organizational structure. After all, growing conditions can vary greatly between our regions: from the Mosel with its slate steep slopes and unquestionable Riesling dominance to the cool Ahr, characterized by Pinot Noir, the sun-drenched Pfalz, the Silvaner paradise of Franken and especially nigh-Mediterranean Baden to the south. Every region has its own special characteristics. It is our aim to preserve and strengthen this regionality with all its individual quirks and traditions and to make it tastable in wine. This is why the VDP is now divided into eleven regional associations. From north to south: Sachsen/Saale-Unstrut, Ahr, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Mittelrhein, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Franken, Pfalz, Württemberg and Baden. Historically, such regional winegrowers' associations were also the nucleus of the VDP. In 1910 the "Vereinigung Rheingauer Weingutsbesitzer," the "Vereinigung Rheinhessischer Naturwein-Versteigerer," the "Verein der Naturweinversteigerer der Rheinpfalz" and the "Trier Verein von Weingutsbesitzern der Mosel, Saar und Ruwer" merged to form the "Verband Deutscher Naturweinversteigerer," which later became the VDP.