Famous German VDP.vintners explain, how the four tier VDP.classification provides orientation at the wine shelf and what the VDP (Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter) is all about.

Why is it needed? What are the different levels? Why does it matter to consumers?
Mainz| Before I took over our family winery, I heard murmurs everywhere, “You have to get into the VDP.” With those words, Günther Jauch, owner of VDP member estate Von Othegraven, kicks off the new VDP film that will premiere at Prowein in Düsseldorf (19 – 21 March 2017) at the VDP joint stand. It's a co-production between the VDP.Prädikatsweingüter and the online video platform for foodies, The Dinest.

The clips are focused on the four-tier VDP classification system. Why is it needed? What are the different levels? Why does it matter to consumers? Günther Jauch is joined in answering these questions by VDP President Steffen Christmann, VDP winegrowers Felix Graf Adelmann from VDP Weingut Graf Adelmann and Dirk Würtz, VDP Weingut Balthasar Ress, as well as the lead editor at Salon Magazin, Anne Petersen. Concise explanations. Persuasive images. Eye-catching cuts. In the always-striking The Dinest look.

The Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter represents "200 wine-crazy individualists that strive to get the maximum in quality out of their vineyards," Christmann says. The VDP Traubenadler, the association's eagle-with-grape logo, on any wine bottle provides consumers with a strong initial seal of quality. As Günther Jauch puts it: "When you see the eagle on the bottle, then you know nothing can go wrong. And with wine, you can do a lot of things wrong."

But that's not the whole story. After all: "Wine is per se very complicated. Sometimes you’ve got two wines, the same thing is written on them, but they taste completely different," Würtz says. The VDP classification pyramid was thus developed as a navigational aid for consumers.

"The idea behind it is relatively easy to explain," notes Würtz, "the smaller the origin, the greater the quality!" The pyramid is divided into four tiers: The base is formed by VDP GUTSWEIN, followed by VDP ORTSWEIN, VDP ERST LAGE® and finally VDP GROSSE LAGE®.

•    Felix Graf Adelmann, on VDP GUTSWEIN: "The basis is essential. To me, quite honestly, that is where the true quality of a wine estate shows."
•    Dirk Würtz on VDP ORTSWEIN: "This ist the first idea of a smaller origin."
•    Steffen Christmann on VDP ERSTEN LAGE®: "But when it should really be special and unique and great, then we need to go to the single-vineyard wines. This begins with the VDP.ERSTE LAGE, which represents a really great origin."
•    Günther Jauch on VDP GROSSEN LAGE®: "Simply stated: more isn’t possible."

For wine lover Anne Peterson, the VDP classification system is an excellent aid in choosing a wine: "So, the VDP classification makes it really easy for me to choose a specific wine. Let’s say, I somehow want to leisurely drink a bottle together with my husband. Then I would perhaps choose a ERSTE LAGE or a GROSSE LAGE."

The film about the VDP Classification system is already up for viewing on the VDP website, The-Dinest.com and on the Facebook pages of both organizations. A set of individual interview sequences with the various protagonists will also be released.

The Classifications clip will be running on a loop at the VDP info stand (Hall 14 / E20) at ProWein in Düsseldorf (19 - 21 March 2017).


VDP.Die Prädikatsweingüter
The VDP is the world's oldest and sole national association for top winegrowing estates. The 196 VDP Prädikat Estates have committed to strict internal quality standards and benchmarks – from the grape to the cellar. The VDP Traubenadler logo (a stylized eagle bearing a cluster of grapes) on the bottle capsule is the seal of approval for VDP wines. It stands for artisanal wine preparation from excellent vineyards.