VDP - THE elite of German wines
Verband Deutscher Qualitäts- und Prädikatsweingüter, abbreviated VDP, literally means: The Association of German Quality and Prädikat Wine Estates. A Prädikat is simply a special attribute. In this case, an umbrella term used to denote the highest category of quality wines produced in Germany. The name of the association reflects the quality-oriented philosophy practiced by its members. Since its founding in 1910, the VDP, the world’s oldest association of wine estates, has been committed to the correlation of producer/site/quality, a trinity that has helped set high standards in German wine culture. Today, it comprises some 200 very individualistic vintners who share a deep commitment to tradition and above all, to high quality.
The requirements for membership in the VDP are demanding and require adherence to self-imposed standards that well exceed the minimums prescribed by law. In addition to having their own winemaking and cellar facilities, members agree to reduced yields, higher starting must weights, and selective harvesting (for the finest wines, by hand) to foster higher quality. Their vineyards are planted primarily (80%) with traditional varietals, such as Riesling or the Pinot family, that are typical of their region. Members are obligated to care for their vines and soils in harmony with nature, i.e. practice ecologically friendly, sustainable viticulture, and use traditional winemaking techniques. Estates and their wines are inspected and certified on a regular basis to ensure ongoing high standards, from vineyard maintenance to cellar technology.
More than once in its history the VDP has devised logos to enhance the recognition value of its wines. First and foremost is the »VDP eagle«, a stylized eagle bearing a cluster of grapes. With the advent of its in-house classification system at the start of this century, an additional logo was created to signal the VDP’s premium wines from an »Erste Lage« – top site: a stylized numeral one that partially frames a cluster of grapes.