Welcome to the VDP.Franken

Silvaner meets franconian Triassic ...

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.


Franconia, known as Franken in German, stands out in various ways from the other VDP.Regions. On the one hand, the Silvaner grape variety, which has demonstrably been cultivated in Franken for over 350 years, dominates the winegrowing area, which stretches from Hörstein near Aschaffenburg to Iphofen along the Main between Würzburg and Nuremberg. Secondly, many wines are filled here into an unusual bottle format, the bulbous Bocksbeutel. And thirdly, Franken is more clearly subdivided into soil types than almost any other region: The Mainviereck (“Main Square”) along the upper part of the river is dominated by Buntsandstein (colored sandstone) – this is where you’ll find the grand red wine villages of Franken, such as Klingenberg and Bürgstadt. In the so-called Maindreieck (“Main Triangle”) with Würzburg at its center, shell limestone defines the soils. In the Steigerwald around Iphofen the vines grow on keuper. Each of these soil formations originates from the Triassic. Because the region is spread out geographically – there are almost 100 kilometers between Hörstein and Iphofen – Franken is considered continental on the whole but marked by many vineyard-specific microclimates.


As early as the 19th century, larger-than-life personalities such as Dr. Peter Ungemach (1786-1852), a director of the revenue office at today's VDPEstate Bürgerspital zum St. Geist in Würzburg, and winegrowing pioneer Sebastian Englert (1804-1880) from Randersacker, campaigned against chaptalization and gallization and in favor of high quality for Franken wines.

In 1955, the Franconian regional association of the Verband Deutscher Naturweinversteigerer e.V. – the ancestor of the modern VDP – was founded with seven initial member wineries. The statutes stipulated that only "exclusively natural wines of their own growth" may be sold or auctioned.

With the 1971’s 5th revision of German Wine Law (1st 1892, 2nd 1901, 3rd 1909, 4th 1930), the designation "natural" was no longer permitted. The natural wine principle – wines not enriched with sugar – was adopted within the Prädikatswein quality classifications of Kabinett and above. 1971 also saw the national association renamed "Deutsche Prädikatswein-Versteigerer e.V."
On March 13, 1974 the "Verein Fränkischer Weingüter und Selbstvermarkter" was founded, encompassing roughly 50 well-known enterprises holding some 850 hectares of vineyards. The association was initially a co-opted member of the German Prädikatswein-Versteigerer e.V.:

Over the next few years, 33 estates with 830 hectares of vineyards became individual members of the VDP. Today there are a total of 28, united by their membership in the regional VDP.Franken association.




    Karl Nägler, Würzburg (1955-1958)
    S.D. Albrecht Fürst zu Castell-Castell (1958-1974)
    Dr. Heinz-Martin Eichelsbacher, Würzburg (1974-1981)
    Johann Ruck, Iphofen (1981-1989)
    Rudolf Frieß, Würzburg (1989-1993)
    Wolfgang Graf zu Castell-Castell (1993-1997)
    Ferdinand Graf zu Castell-Castell (1997-2004)
    Carl Friedrich Prinz zu Löwenstein (2004-2007)
    Karl M. Schmitt (2007-2013)
    Paul Fürst, Bürgstadt (2013-2018)

    Board of directors of the VDP.Franken


    VDP.Estate Bürgerspital zum Hl. Geist
    Theaterstraße 19
    97070 Würzburg

    PHONE: +49 (0) 931/3503441
    Fax: +49 (0) 931/3503444



    VDP.Estate Weltner
    Wiesenbronner Straße 17
    97348 Rödelsee


    PHONE: +49 (0) 9323 3646

    Contact to the VDP.Franken



    Gräfenneuses 21
    96160 Geiselwind

    PHONE: +49 (0) 9556 981029
    Fax: +49 (0) 9556 981031