6 % increase in sales, moderate price increase in nearly all segments and stable distribution channels please vintners.
Mainz | Elegant wines and good sales: at the opening of the VDP.Weinbörse 2018, world’s largest branch fair for top German wines, the 195 VDP.Prädikat Wine Estates present the qualitatively high, but quantitively small 2017 vintage and also look back on a successful financial year. Vintners are very pleased with a price increase of two euros per bottle for top wines from VDP.GROSSE LAGE® and a sales increase of 6 %. Low harvest volumes due to adverse weather last year are cause for concern. This could lead to bottlenecks and stricter allocation of wines particularly in the premium segment.
“2017 was a vintage that demanded all the knowledge we had acquired over many decades. Initially too dry and then in some areas too wet, it was necessary to keep a cool head. In the end, we now have outstanding wines with fine acidity and good structure in our cellars. These are wines that fit in well with recent vintages and offer much pleasure. Best conditions for a successful Weinbörse,” states Steffen Christmann, President of the VDP.German Prädikat Wine Estates.
A survey of the 195 VDP.German Prädikat Wine Estates collected economic data from the member vintners for the past year and determined average values. Read the results in detail here:
The sales volume of € 336 million was 6 % above the previous year’s result. The VDP.German Prädikat Wein Estates sold 29 million bottles between the beginning of January and end of December 2017.
Average prices per 0.75-litre bottle increased again slightly in all four quality segments. After an average price of 9,70 euro per bottle, VDP.GUTSWEIN broke the magic 10-euro ceiling in 2017. The average price for VDP.ORTSWEIN was 13.20 euros (2016: 12.70 euros), while the price of 17 euros per bottle for VDP.ERSTE LAGE® wines was confirmed from the previous year. It is becoming increasingly possible to be compensated for the immense production costs of wines from VDP.GROSSER LAGE®, which mark a 6 % increase in price with an average of around 34 euros per bottle.
As in previous years, most bottles of VDP.German Prädikat Wine Estate wines are consumed domestically. Sales figures remain stable. Around three quarters of the sales volume was sold domestically in 2017. In view of the quantitatively satisfactory 2016 vintage, demand was sufficiently fulfilled.
At 45 %, producer on-premise sales were the strongest distribution channel (2016: 42 %). VDP.Wine consumers appreciate personal contact with vintners and enjoy the shopping experience at the wineries. The annual increase of 3 % was actually due to the growing sales through the producers’ online shops. Online-shop sales rose from five to eight %.
Consumer preference for regional origin is in trend. The high demand for regional products is also reflected in local trade. Upscale supermarkets that tend toward fine foods list high-quality regional wines increasingly. Food retailers comprised an impressive 12 % of sales, while classic wine merchants made up 25 %.
Upscale restaurants are also focussing increasingly on regional products and enhance this with authentic VDP.Wines on their wine lists. Restaurants are an important and growing distribution and communications channel for VDP.Vintners at 18 % of sales (2016: 17 %). VDP.ORTSWEINE and wines from VDP.ERSTE LAGE® are particularly important regional ambassadors that offer restaurants an interesting price for quality ratio.
Many VDP.Wine Estates are export-oriented. Wine export in the year 2017 differed greatly from region to region, making up one quarter of total sales volumes. The distribution to various export markets is highly dependent on the orientation of the individual VDP.Producer. The most important export markets in 2017 were again Benelux, USA and Scandinavia. The demand for organic wines in Scandinavia was particularly high. Sustainable wine production is firmly anchored in the principles of the VDP. The VDP currently cultivates 5 % of the total German vineyard area and 12 % of the organic vineyards in Germany. Every third VDP.Wine Estate is now certified organic.
Not only the classic import markets show positive developments. Countries like China, Canada and Russia are a focus of many VDP.Wine Estates.
“We continue to be headed in a good direction. The continuous quality efforts of the past years are being rewarded. International demand for top German wines is growing, even if there is still plenty of potential for further growth. Domestically we are pleased about the newest developments toward anchoring geographic indications and designations of origin in German wine law. The classification efforts of the VDP.Vintners over the past 20 years are a major contributing factor in placing renewed focus on classic regional grape varieties and the vineyard as the foundation of quality. It will remain important in the future to clearly position the four quality grades of VDP.Wines – VDP.Gutswein, VDP.Ortswein, VDP.Erste Lage® and VDP.GROSSE LAGE® – and to ensure demand in all classification levels," concludes VDP.President Steffen Christmann.
VDP.German Prädikat Wine Estates – GENERAL SALES STRUCTURE 2017
(These are projected and not absolute figures.)
BALANCE IN YEAR 2017 (in 0.75 bottles)
Total VDP approx. 29 million
Per producer approx. 150,000
Total VDP 5,070 ha
Per producer 26 ha
Domestic 76 % (2016: 77 %)
Export 24 % (2016: 23 %)
46.7 hl/ha (vintage 2013)
52 hl/ha (vintage 2014)
54 hl/ha (vintage 2015)
56 hl/ha (vintage 2016)
50 hl/ha (vintage 2017)
SALES VOLUMES in 2017
Total VDP approx. 336 million euro
Per producer approx. 1.7 million euro
PRICE PER BOTTLE in 2017
VDP.GUTSWEIN 10.00 €
VDP.ORTSWEIN 13.20 €
VDP.ERSTE LAGE 17.00 €
VDP.GROSSE LAGE 34.00 €