Until the middle of the 19th century, the Rheingau auctions gave Rhine wines an international reputation that at that time could only be compared with crus classés from the Médoc and Sauternais. In Germany as well as in England, white Rhine wines, together with French red wines, champagne as well as sweet wines, are an integral part of every menu. In view of the auction of cabinet wines in 1853, the domain administration considered it advisable to have the consuls of the duchy in Bremen, Hamburg, London, Rotterdam and Petersburg advertise the auction.
In the other quality wine-growing regions of Germany, namely the Rhine-Palatinate, the Middle Moselle and the Saar as well as the Rhine-Hessian Rhine front, the idea of self-marketing of the top wines by auction is only very slowly gaining acceptance. Newspaper advertisements and some printed auction lists prove the existence of such events. However, site wines like those in the Rheingau seem to be the exception. On the Moselle, local wines are usually mentioned ("Kaseler", "Brauneberger", "Graacher"), individual barrels are often described according to their storage location ("Im Keller von ..."). The place and time of the auctions are made known nationwide through advertisements in wine magazines, especially in the "Deutsche Wein-Zeitung", published by Diemer in Mainz in 1864. Around the turn of the century, commission agents also prepare their own, often multi-page overviews of the upcoming wine auctions for their customers.
After a series of good to very good vintages from the end of the 1850s to the mid-1860s - on the Moselle and Saar, for example, the vintages 1857, 1858, 1859, 1862 and 1865 - more and more joint wine auctions were held from the mid-1860s onwards, even in the city of Trier, which was far from the main traffic routes. "The big landowners, who produce noble natural wines, began to fight with all means at their disposal against an all too large supply of improved wines. The natural wine auctioneers were the first to see a merger as a suitable means of drawing the attention of the trade and consumers to their natural products. For the individual winery, the auction was in any case a great risk, because it was associated with high costs and was by no means always accompanied by success. Various owners initially joined forces for a week's auction and shared all costs jointly. For a long time, there were three different auction rings in Trier, but they were not visible to the outside world because their auctions were directly adjacent to each other. (Loeb 1922)
An early example of this development is the announcement of auctions on four consecutive days in March 1865 and at the beginning of April by wineries such as Felix Müller (Scharzhofberger), widow Josef Graach, heirs Rautenstrauch (Karthäuserhof), Kesselstatt (Kaseler) and Beulwitz (Mosel wines) to that of the Deutsche Wein-Zeitung of 4 February 1865. The third week after Easter gradually becomes established as the auction period.
In 1871, the Chamber of Commerce of Trier can note: "In the last two years of the auction, cycles of public wine auctions were held again with good success. This institution has proved its worth and already seems to have the character of continuity".
In the Rheingau, the growing competition from other top white wines from Germany is being reacted to immediately. The average prices that have been achieved since 1816 at the auctions of wines from the Domanial property vineyards of the Duke of Nassau and various noble and private wineries, as the basis for the oldest official vineyard site classification map in the world The "Vineyard Map for the Nassau Rheingau" compiled by Friedrich Wilhelm Dünkelberg was published in Wiesbaden in 1867. Under the impression of this map, the "Saar-Moselle-Wine-growing map for the administrative district of Trier" was created immediately afterwards. However, the basis of the "Prussian" vineyard site classification is not the proceeds of the auction, but the net yield calculations by the Prussian tax offices. Comparable data were not available for Nassau, which only became Prussian in 1866.
In 1874 the German Winegrowers' Association was founded in Trier. In the background is the struggle (legally decided only in 1901) for the sovereign interpretation of what may be called wine. The small "big landowners", who are wealthy in the best locations, defend the "natural wine" as the only true wine. But no one fails to recognise the necessity of "improving" "dependent" wines by adding sugar or sugared water in such a way that they become drinkable. What both groups have in common is the fight against artificial wine made from chemicals, fruit and water, or even raisin wine. The addition