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.