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.