Welcome to the VDP.Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

Home to world-class Rieslings

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 Rieslings growing areas in the world. It is home not only to Germany’s expensive vineyards – for example Berncasteler DOCTOR – but also the most expensive wine of all times, a 2003 SCHARZHOFBERG Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese from VDP.Estate Weingut Egon Müller which changed hands at the VDP.Mosel auction for the fabulous price of 14.566 euros.


The cool climate along the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer is like something out of a picture book. In most years Riesling grapes, the clearly dominant variety here, can ripen longer than in almost any other German region – up to 160 days, compared with the 100 days that are considered the classic benchmark elsewhere. This gives the grapes plentiful time to develop aromas. The three rivers – in particular the Mosel – provide a stable, moderate climate as passive heat reservoirs, while at the same time their movement promotes good air circulation, they take warm air with them, leaving cooler layers to refresh the grapes on the slopes at night.

The landscape around the 50th degree of latitude is also like a picture book. The meandering path of the Mosel creates some extremely steep slopes – and where they face south, the summer can be hot. The dark slate in the soils, which functions like a heat accumulator, does the rest. The vines grow at times at dizzying heights, in some places on stone terraces or also in single-stake training, which translates into highly demanding conditions for vineyard work that can often only be performed by hand, particularly in the steep slopes.

It is a bit cooler on the Saar and Ruwer, as the vineyards are higher on average and the influence of the two rivers is less pronounced, with the vineyards often located in side valleys. On the Saar the most famous German wine from the VDP.GROSSEN LAGE® SCHARZHOFBERG is produced, which, at a price of 14,566 Euros (2003 SCHARZHOFBERG Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese from VDP.Estate Egon Müller), has achieved the world’s highest-ever price for a bottle of wine (VDP.MOSEL auction in 2015).


The GROSSER RING was founded in 1908 on the initiative of Trier's Lord Mayor Albert von Bruchhausen. It brought together the auction circuits of key estates – including the large church estates – that had existed since the middle of the 19th century on the Mittelmosel, Saar and Ruwer. In 1910 von Bruchhausen further brought together similar communities that had developed in other German winegrowing regions, forming the "Verband Deutscher Naturweinversteigerer" – predecessor to the VDP.Die Prädikatsweingüter.

At the time of its foundation the GROSSER RING had 56 members, and von Bruchhausen, who was also director of the Vereinigte Hospitien, took over the chairmanship. The main purpose of the association was of course the auctions, which demonstrably dated back to 1893 (and probably as early as the middle of the 19th century). Even then, people were aware of the connection between wine quality and wine sales and put both on the same footing.

The GROSSER RING has held a total of 130 wine auctions to date. In the past they took an entire week. At the first post-war auction on February 17-18, 1949, a price of DM 27.000 was paid for a 1945 fuder cask of "Dhronhofberger feinste Auslese." On average, DM 8.800 per round was raised at this auction – an almost inconceivable price given the extraordinary shortage in currency at that time. Especially exciting were the auctions after the great vintages 1953 and 1959. The price of DM 57.110 for a 1959 Mosel fuder was nothing short of sensational. There is not space here to list all above-average results. But the point remains that the Trier wine auctions are, in terms of quality and price, and have always been, an orientation point for the entire winegrowing region. From here the reputation of the wines of Mosel, Saar and Ruwer emanates out all over the world.

Today the association is called the GROSSER RING VDP.Mosel-Saar-Ruwer and has 30 members. Among them are names  virtually unchanged since the beginning.

The purpose of the association has been expanded in the course of the current globalization and now includes presentations and sales events at home and abroad in addition to the auctions. As of 100 years ago, quality is still considered the precondition for success: “The Tradition of Quality is the Most Binding Obligation” is the slogan for the region’s VDP.Estates. The association’s statues dictate that only natural persons with property or land in the winegrowing region of Mosel-Saar-Ruwer can become members. In practical modern terms, only those who own good and great vineyard sites, cultivate at least 80 percent Riesling, and are full-time members can become members today.

Tradition is writ large in the organizational structure of the VDP.Mosel-Saar-Ruwer as well. Since its founding in 1908, the association has had only six chairpersons.


1908 – 1935       Albert von Bruchhausen, Trier
1935 – 1963       Alfons Claessens, Wawern
1963 – 1984       Werner Tyrell, Trier-Eitelsbach
1984 – 2004       Wilhelm Haag, Brauneberg
2004 – 2008       Eberhard von Kunow, Oberemmel
2008 – 2016       Egon Müller-Scharzhof, Wiltingen
since 2016         Dr. Carl von Schubert, Mertesdorf

Board of directors of the VDP.Mosel-Saar-Ruwer


VDP.Estate Maximin Grünhaus
Hauptstr. 1 
54318 Mertesdorf 

PHONE: +49 (0) 651 5111 
Fax: +49 (0) 651 52821



VDP.Estate Geltz-Zilliken
Heckingstraße 20 
54439 Saarburg 

PHONE: +49 (0) 6581 2456 
Fax: +49 (0) 6581 6763 


Contact to the VDP.Mosel-Saar-Ruwer


Gartenfeldstrasse 12a 
54295 Trier 
PHONE: +49 (0) 651 75041