The 202 members of the VDP view 2013 as a positive year. It was a year in which their clear commitment to quality rather than quantity definitely paid off. VDP members confirm that the wines in the top quality categories – VDP.ERSTE LAGE and VDP.GROSSE LAGE – continue to function as the driving force of development. This phenomenon is evident not only in Germany, but above all, in export markets. Export figures for the VDP‘s very best wines reflect the healthy growth of this category.
The overall positive picture is marred by the small size of the crop in 2013 (averge yields were some 18% lower than in the year before) and the challenges this poses for the business year in 2014. Fortunately, though, some estates hold stocks in reserve until the wines reach optimal maturity. These reserves help compensate for low-volume years and ensure continuity of supply. This strategy of the VDP growers, based on long-term orientation, sustainability, and high quality, has proved to be useful more than once.
VDP sales volume in 2013 reached ca. 22.6 million 0.75-liter bottles). As in the German wine industry as a whole, these figures reflect a relatively stable market situation.
VDP sales value in 2013 reached ca. 285 million euros, or basically the same level as in the year before, despite the volume deficit of ca. 18%. Grosse Gewächse wines accounted for some 16% of total sales value. The average bottle price for a VDP wine was 12,50 euros, while the average price for a 2013 Grosses Gewächs remained ca. 27,00 euros – which reflects the VDP’s recognition of market realties, i.e., a hefty price increase would have had a negative impact on sales.
VDP estates pursued various strategies to deal with ongoing strong demand, yet smaller quantities available, in order to supply the market. The range of measures included: substitution with older vintages; differentiation among target groups; temporary restraint in acquiring new customers; strict quotas; and later release dates.
Despite the small harvest, sales of VDP wines in Germany remained stable in 2013. As in previous years, the majority of VDP wines (ca. 83%) were sold in the domestic market. Here, personal relationships between VDP growers and their customers play an important role: 50% of VDP wines are sold directly at the estate. Individual contact with “their” wine-grower continues to be viewed as something of an event. The wine specialty trade remains the second most important outlet for VDP wines, accounting for some 30% of domestic wine sales. VDP wine quality and professional advice in wine shops and restaurants are an important factor. The acceptance and implentation of the VDP.Classification continues to grow and clearly demonstrates that VDP estates are fulfilling their role as models for the production of top-quality German wine. In all regions, their stringent quality standards and vineyard classification – Gutswein > Ortswein > Lagenwein – are also being emulated and adopted by wine estates that are not members of the VDP.
Compared with 2012, sales of VDP wines in international markets slightly declined in 2013. Exports accounted for ca. 17% of total sales. Distribution in individual markets is quite varied and heavily depends on the individual VDP estate. Scandinavia remains the most important export market, closely followed by Asia (Japan, in particular, once again shows growth), and North America (USA/Canada). Thereafter, come the Benelux countries and slowly growing niche markets within Europe. Switzerland, Austria, France, and Italy are especially worth mentioning as promising sales outlets. Russia is also a good potential market for VDP estates. Although quantities are not great, there is a steadily growing demand for high-priced terroir wines. In this field, VDP estates once again play a leading role for German wine as a whole. The image of Germany as an exclusive producer of top wines benefits from the VDP’s unique classification of vineyard sites. Emerging markets such as Hong Kong, and China, for example, are fertile ground as excellent markets for high-priced wines in the VDP.ERSTE LAGE and VDP.GROSSE LAGE categories.
Outlook for 2014
The VDP is an association of wine estates from 13 wine-growing regions that is unique in the world. Its members are committed to the four-tier VDP.Classification as a forward-looking promise of quality. To this day, some 104 years after the VDP’s founding, its members still strive to achieve the highest quality possible. They are dedicated to sustainable viticultural practices that will safeguard the future of Germany’s top-quality wines for generations to come.
We set standards for wine pleasure and authenticity.
The narrower the appellation of origin,the higher the quality of the wine.
VDP – General Sales Overview in 2013
(Figures are projected, not absolute.)
SALES VOLUME in 2013 (0.75-liter bottles)
VDP total ca. 22.6 million bottles
Per estate ca. 112,000 bottles
VDP total 5,043 ha (12,461 acres)
Per estate ca. 24.9 ha (61.53 acres)
YIELDS (on average)
Vintage 2010 41.5 hl/ha
Vintage 2011 53 hl/ha
Vintage 2012 57 hl/ha
Vintage 2013 46.7 hl/ha
SALES VALUE in 2013
VDP total ca. 283 million euros
Per estate ca. 1.41 million euros
BOTTLE PRICES in 2013 (on average)
VDP wine 12,50 euros
GROSSES GEWÄCHS 27,00 euros
(GG accounted for ca. 16% of total sales value.)
SALES MARKETS (on average)
Domestic 83% (2004: 86%)
Export 17% (2004: 14%)
(Export share ranges from 0-80%; Mosel growers are particularly export-oriented.)
EXPORT TRENDS Up-and-coming markets: China, Canada, and Japan as well as Switzerland, Austria, France, and Italy.Stable markets: Scandinavian countries, USA, and Netherlands.