The VDP Classification model
The classification model presented here describes the framework conditions of the VDP national association. The regional associations regulate detailed production parameters within this framework.
VDP.GUTSWEINE are the entry into the origin-oriented quality hierarchy of the VDP wine estates. The wines come from the estate's own vineyards and meet the strict VDP standards.
VDP.ORTSWEINE come from the best vineyards within a town and are planted with typical grape varieties. The dry VDP.ORTSWEIN is labeled "Qualitätswein trocken". Naturally and nobly sweet VDP.ORTSWEINE carry the classic Prädikat levels of Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Bererenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese or Eiswein.
VDP.ERSTE LAGE designates first-class vineyards with their own character, in which optimal growth conditions prevail and wines have been produced over a long period of time with sustainably high quality. They are planted with regionally defined grape varieties. The dry wine from VDP. ERSTE LAGE is labeled "Qualitätswein trocken". Naturally and nobly sweet wines carry the classic Prädikat levels.
VDP.GROSSE LAGE designates the highest quality German vineyards. The locations are narrowly demarcated to fine parcels that produce the best wines expressing terroir and with special aging potential. They are planted with regionally defined grape varieties that match the respective vineyard. The dry wine from VDP. GROSSE LAGE is called VDP. GROSSES GEWÄCHS and labeled as " Qualitätswein trocken ". Naturally and nobly sweet wines carry the classic Prädikat levels.
About the VDP
The Verband Deutscher Prädikats- und Qualitätsweingüter e. V. (VDP) is an association of around 200 German wine producers, whose members produce their wines according to stricter requirements than the German Wine Act stipulates. The members undertake to allow regular inspections to ensure full compliance.
The classification of the VDP is based on a private law statute for the Prädikat wine estates of Germany. This statute defines the quality of a wine according to the "terroir", meaning that the origin is connected to the quality. The terms "Erste Lage" and " Grosses Gewächs" are private labels of the VDP and not authorised under wine law, except for the classification "Grosses Gewächs" in the Rheingau region.
The vineyard is the definitive quality criterion for the VDP wine estates. The aim of the VDP classification is to highlight the value of the best sites in Germany, to ensure the preservation of a unique cultural landscape, to strengthen the profile of Germany’s best dry wines and to emphasize the importance of the traditional natuarally and nobly sweet Prädikat wines. It follows the motto “the narrower the origin, the higher the quality”.