Report of the VDP.Prädikatsweingüter:

Successful year 2019 – 2020 with a question mark

The VDP.wineries recorded rising sales in 2019 in a good mood - also in exports. An important cushion for a future uncertain because of the Corona crisis ...

Mainz | The wine industry is currently in turmoil. It is suffering from the worldwide closures of restaurants and is worried about long-term partners and distribution channels. Even if the easing of regulations in Germany and Europe is a ray of hope, exports to countries outside Europe are still in shock.

Tasting the new 2019 vintage, which has just been launched on the market, is proving difficult for both trade visitors and wine journalists*. Normally, the wine industry can get a comprehensive picture of the vintage of the VDP.Prädikatsweingüter at the VDP.Weinbörse, the world's largest trade fair for top German wines, at the end of April. This year, like many other events, it had to be cancelled.

Despite all the imponderables and worries, however, there are many hopeful things to report from the VDP.ranks.

Giver of hope 1: The vintage

The quantitatively small 2019 vintage (27% less than 2018) convinces with complex, vibrating wines. Some vintage voices of the VDP.winegrowers*:

"Taut wines with fine acidity, completely on the cool side."

VDP President Steffen Christmann

"2019 has become a brilliant vintage. Crystalline and deep, full of vigor and vibrant vibration."

Peter Bernhard Kühn, VDP.Winery Peter Jakob Kühn

"Ripe, racy, deep and long-lasting Riesling wines"

Carl von Schubert, VDP.Winery Maximin Grünhaus

Giver of hope 2: Preview

Instead of the VDP Wine Exchange, there will be a VDP industry meeting at the beginning of September with a slightly different focus on wine. The exact date and location of the event will be announced by the association in the next few days.

Giver of hope 3: Review

Looking back on the past year, the VDP winegrowers* have a healthy cushion to look forward to an uncertain future. More than half of the wineries surveyed report increased sales in 2019, while another third can look back on stable sales figures. Overall, the association members were able to achieve a five percent increase in sales.

The current economic data of the VDP.wineries will be surveyed in the spring and average values or projections will be formed from them. In addition to questions on turnover and business development, the price trend of the various levels of the VDP classification, the development of exports, but also the different sales channels from specialized trade to direct sales were also queried.

Read the results in detail here:


73% of the VDP wines are sold on the domestic market. The largest share of 35% is still direct sales ex winery. In recent years, tendencies have already been observed that the number of wine lovers visiting the winery has been declining, while the number of shipments to end consumers has been rising continuously. In corona times, this trend is more pronounced.

Gastronomy and specialist retailers are particularly important business partners for the VDP.wineries. All VDP.wineries that took part in the survey sell their wines in restaurants and wine bars, among other places. For the period after the Corona crisis, fundamental structural changes in wine sales can unfortunately be expected in this sector.

The VDP winegrowers see future prospects particularly in online trading, especially in their own online shops. The majority of wineries (67 percent) report rising sales there.

The recently published study by the Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences on the effects of Corona on German wine producers also underlines these developments.


27% of the VDP wines sold were sent abroad last year. Worldwide, the interest in German top wines is unbroken. The VDP eagle on the neck of the bottle is regarded internationally as a clear symbol of quality in the bottle. For many VDP wineries, the expansion of export markets is an important strategic goal for building up the winery brand and stabilising sales, especially since higher average bottle revenues can be achieved in exports. The increasingly fierce cut-throat competition at home also makes the development of additional markets indispensable.

The VDP winegrowers* most frequently export their wines to the Netherlands and Scandinavia. It is clear that export markets "on their doorstep" offer clear advantages due to short logistics routes and simple import regulations.

China, as an export country, is said to be growing strongly with good prices in difficult market conditions. In addition to the booming wine market of Japan, Switzerland and Russia are also showing good growth.

Until the introduction of punitive tariffs, the USA was also one of the top export markets.

VDP.price level

The VDP.GUTSWEIN remains the calling card and the driving force of the VDP.wineries. With an average price of 10 euros, this is the low-cost entry into the winegrower's product range. The VDP.GUTSWEINE already expresses the winegrower's individuality, because a good winery can already be recognised by its good base wines. More than half of the bottles sold last year belong to this classification level.

VDP.ORTSWEINE accounts for a third of the bottles sold. With an average price of 13€ per bottle, they represent a high-quality and attractively priced intermediate level between VDP.GUTSWEIN and the Lageweine. They are therefore ideal for the gastronomy sector and often mark the step within the winery pyramid from varietal characteristics to typical origin.

The VDP winegrowers* sell a total of 15% of the bottles in the Lagewein segment. Lovers of fine wines spent an average of 33 euros on VDP.GROSSE LAGE® wines. The average price for VDP.ERSTE LAGE® was 17 euros last year.



Sales structures 2019 (extrapolation)


ToTAL DEPOSIT IN 2019 (in 0,75 bottles.)

Total VDP            approx.. 32 million bottles

per winery           approx. 163.000 bottles


Total VDP            approx. 5.500 ha

per winery           approx. 28 ha



- ø 10 employees

- 3 of 4 wineries train (ø 2 trainees)

- 82% employ seasonal workers


- 54 of the 196 VDP wineries, which cultivate 25% of the VDP vineyard area, are ecologically certified according to EU standards.

- A further 25% of the VDP vineyard area is cultivated by 28 sustainably certified VDP wineries



Domestic 73 % (2018: 75%)

Exports 27 % (2018: 25 %)


SALES volume in 2019     

Total VDP   365 million Euro

Per winery          approx. ca. 1,86 million Euro




54 hl/ha (vintage 2015)

56 hl/ha (vintage 2016)

50 hl/ha (vintage 2017)

71 hl/ha (vintage 2018)

52 hl/ha (vintage 2019)



- International atmosphere very good

- Benelux and Scandinavia: the most important export countries for years

- Strong growth in China, boom in Japan

- Switzerland and Russia with good growth

BOTTLE PRICES IN 2019 (average)

VDP.GUTSWEIN                                     10,00 €

VDP.ORTSWEIN                                      13,00 €

VDP.ERSTE LAGE®                                  17,00 €

VDP.GROSSE LAGE®                               33,00 €