Quality reflects origin – this is the VDP’s philosophy in a nutshell. It’s why we attach particular importance to origin in our organizational structure. After all, growing conditions can vary greatly between our regions: from the Mosel with its slate steep slopes and unquestionable Riesling dominance to the cool Ahr, characterized by Pinot Noir, the sun-drenched Pfalz, the Silvaner paradise of Franken and especially nigh-Mediterranean Baden to the south. Every region has its own special characteristics. It is our aim to preserve and strengthen this regionality with all its individual quirks and traditions and to bring that to the palate. This is why the VDP is now divided into eleven regional associations. From north to south: Sachsen/Saale-Unstrut, Ahr, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Mittelrhein, Nahe, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Franken, Pfalz, Württemberg and Baden. Historically, such regional winegrowers' associations were also the nucleus of the VDP. In 1910 the "Vereinigung Rheingauer Weingutsbesitzer," the "Vereinigung Rheinhessischer Naturwein-Versteigerer," the "Verein der Naturweinversteigerer der Rheinpfalz" and the "Trier Verein von Weingutsbesitzern der Mosel, Saar und Ruwer" merged to form the "Verband Deutscher Naturweinversteigerer," which later became the VDP.
The Ahr is among Germany’s smaller winegrowing regions and stretches 25 kilometers along the river, which flows from southwest to northeast. 560 hectares are planted with vines. Red grape cultivation is predominant on the Ahr – the region is regarded as a red wine paradise in Germany.
J. J. Adeneuer
53474 Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler
+49 (0)2641 / 34473
Baden is a small wine universe all its own – a rather warm and sunny one at that. It is bound on one side by Lake Constance, with its view of the Alpine peaks, and on the other by the magnificent river stretches of the Tauber Valley. There’s a section that contains the gently undulating hills of Heidelberg, and another with the Kaiserstuhl massif that rises high above the Rhine Valley. The center of the region is full of vineyards edging the Black Forest. The diversity of wine variety here is more than just a reflection of the zeitgeist, but rather the natural result of real climatic and geological differences.
+49 (0)7668 2004992
Franconia, known as Franken in German, is a historical wine region along the Main. It is marked by impressive landscapes with a multitude of outstanding top locations due to the uniqueness of its geology and the resulting soils. Silvaner, which has been cultivated here for over 350 years, is a major calling card for Franken winegrowing. In addition, the Franks are also strong producers of fine Riesling and Pinot family wines. Another unmistakable characteristic of dry Franconian wines: the traditional Bocksbeutel bottle.
+49 (0)9556 981029
There is something simply enchanting about the narrow valley of the Mittelrhein, with its steep terraced vineyards, castles and palaces perched to look down on the river like stone witnesses to times gone by – a unique cultural landscape that has rightly been included in the UN’s World Heritage List. The vines – mainly Riesling, but also Pinot family varieties – have deep roots, almost clinging to the typical slate rock – ideal conditions for world-class wines.
55422 Bacharach 2
Tel.: +49 (0)6743 / 1337
+49 (0)2641 34473
Few other German winegrowing regions enjoy such international recognition as the Mosel and its Saar and Ruwer tributaries. Its Rieslings, grown on the breathtakingly steep slopes along the gently meandering rivers, benefit from a relatively long ripening period (100 days on average, and in some years up to 130 days), which allows the aromas in the berries to ripen to perfection. The region is also one of the largest Riesling growing areas in the world. It is home not only to Germany’s expensive vineyards – for example the Berncasteler DOCTOR – but also the most expensive wine of all times, a 2003 SCHARZHOFBERG Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese from VDP.Estate Egon Müller which changed hands at the VDP.Mosel auction for the fabulous price of 14.566 euros.
Dr. Carl von Schubert
+49 (0)651 / 75041
At just 4,149 hectares, the Nahe region can hardly be called large, yet its diversity is remarkable. Only rarely can one find this level of geological variation in the soils in such tight quarters. On the Nahe, different types of rock have risen from the depths in close proximity – with entirely different formations even within one and the same vineyard. This gives the wines a phenomenal depth and complexity. While a large part of the region is rather hilly, lovers of spectacular landscapes around Traisen get their money's worth. Here the VDP.GROSSE LAGE® BASTEI features a stand of narrow rows nestled along a red stone massif called the Rotenfels – at 200 meters the highest and steepest face between the Alps and Scandinavia.The vineyards extend from the southern edge of the Rhenish Slate Mountains to the Nahe side valleys from Alsenz to Glan.
+49 (0)6751 855 5159
Pampered by a fabulous 1.800 hours of sunshine a year, this is a breeding ground for grand unmistakable dry wines. It is cool enough for elegant and delicate wines, yet also warm enough for power and a full-bodied balance. The soils themselves contribute, giving root to the taste profiles appropriate for world-class wines: Over the centuries, many small vineyard sites with numerous and special soil types have developed in the Pfalz. It is important to preserve these vineyards and vines – that's why it's important to be gentle with nature: Even back in the 1990s, all VDP.Estates in the Pfalz committed themselves voluntarily to work in a controlled, environmentally friendly manner in the vineyards. In the meantime, two thirds of the wineries are now certified organic. And the trend is pointed upward! First place among the regions …
+49 (0)6345 / 9594403
Only in a few places does the Rhine Valley ever open up as impressively as in the Rheingau – framed by the gently sloping heights of the Taunus, the light here seems charged. No wonder – the wide river acts as an additional reflector. Riesling loves this intensity and so the Rheingau has the highest proportion of Riesling in the world, almost 80 percent. But Pinot Noir also feels at home in the Rheingau – especially in the steep slate slopes of the lower Rheingau near Assmannshausen..
+49 (0)6123 676812
Rheinhessen is certainly the German growing region that has most renewed and spectacularly improved its reputation in recent years. A young generation of winegrowers has taken over the helm here – the region is now regarded as an innovative melting pot. Rheinhessen is not only one of the largest and most traditional wine-growing regions in Germany – with more than 1.500 hours of sunshine a year and only 500 millimeters of precipitation, it is also one of the driest.
+49 (0) 6135 2341
Saxony, known as Sachsen in Germany, is one of the smallest winegrowing regions in Germany and – located near Dresden – the north-easternmost in Europe. Only Saale-Unstrut between Naumburg and Freyburg is more northerly as an officially recognized quality winegrowing region – approx. 160 kilometers west of Sachsen. Both growing areas are characterized by a continental climate with cold winters, hot summers and strong temperature fluctuations between day and night. Often the wines from these two regions are fresh, fragrant and filigreed, aromatic and intense – VDP.Wines well worth seeking out and tasting!
Dr. Georg Prinz zur Lippe
Office VDP.Sachsen / Saale-Unstrut
c/o Weingut Schloss Proschwitz Prinz zur Lippe
+49 (0)3521 7676-13
Württemberg is proud of a very special red grape variety – Lemberger. On the often-calcareous soils of the region along the Neckar and around Stuttgart, it produces powerful, spicy wines – which in Austria are called Blaufränkisch. But Württemberg’s VDP.Winegrowers are also very good with the Pinot family varieties, as you’ll experience for yourself from the very first sip.
Diana und Dietmar Maisenhölder
+49 (0)711 6937460
photos: Peter Bender