The top German Vintners or the VIP club of German wineries: VDP

The logo of the VDP

VDP stands for “Verband Deutscher Praedikatsweingueter”. The German can be freely translated as “Association of German Wineries of Excellence”. The VDP is a club-like organisation with 196 member wineries.

It was founded in 1910 and celebrates this year its 100th anniversary. According to its website, VDP is the oldest association of the top quality wine estates. membership requirement is to adhere to the standards of the association which includes among others the strict limitation of yields. There is an inspection and certification process in place which members must submit to in oder to not loose the membership status. It is supposed to uphold the high quality of the produce.

The sign of quality are the eagle (no surprise for Germans who have made it part of their national insignia) and the cluster of grapes, usually embossed on the bottles of their “Erstes Gewaechs” comparable to France’s “premier cru”, wine made from grapes from the best terroir or locations.

The members of the association sell about 35 million bottles per year, for an average price of about 9 Euro /bottle. 80% of their production is sold on the domestic market, 20% is exported. Almost half of the bottles are sold directly to consumers.

The members come from all German wine regions. More than half of them (acounting for about 6% of all Riesling plantings worldwide) produce the finest Riesling wines Germany has to offer. In 1990 it had 161 members. Since then 73 wineries have left and 108 have joined the association.

According to it’s newest three members are:

Klaus Zimmerling, Saxonia
Konrad Schloer, Taubertal
Thomas Seeger, Baden

Some of my favourite producers are members of the association, for instance Van Volxem Wine Estate in Wiltingen at the Saar.

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