Tuesday, February 2, 2010

100 Years Germany's VDP - The world’s oldest association of wine estates celebrates a special birthday in 2010

The Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (VDP, the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates), founded in 1910, is the world’s oldest association of top-quality wine estates.

Nearly 200 wine estates from all German wine-growing regions belong to the VDP today. Collectively, they cultivate about 4 percent of Germany’s vineyard area, which is about 100.000 hectars.

Membership in the VDP requires voluntary adherence to “in-house” quality criteria that well exceed the minimums prescribed by law. To name but a few: yields are limited to foster quality; the finest grapes are selectively harvested, by hand; and vineyards are planted primarily with traditional grape varieties. Estates and their wines are inspected and certified on a regular basis to ensure ongoing high standards, from vineyard maintenance to cellar technology. Since 1990, 104 estates have become new members in the VDP; 67 members have been expelled.

The Prädikat wine estates played a decisive role as pioneers in initiating the German wine Riesling renaissance at home and abroad. Their expertise in Riesling wines is unparalleled. Some 55% of all VDP member estates’ vineyards are planted with Riesling vines – equal to 6% of Riesling plantings worldwide.

This year, the VDP will celebrate its centennial under the motto: “A Century of Fine Wines from Top Sites and Creative Vintners.”

VDP president Steffen Christmann, in commenting on the VDP’s plans for 2010, remarked: “During the century of its existence, our association has achieved tremendous recognition among wine enthusiasts and professionals alike. Today, the image of German wines and the high quality of wines produced from the finest vineyard sites has reached a level comparable with that of the heyday of German wines a century ago. Many a fine German wine enjoys cult status. With our centennial events in 2010, we want to celebrate all these achievements – for one whole year.”

The complete centennial program is on the VDP website (www.vdp.de) and will be updated on a regular basis.

Overview: Events in 2010

ProWein, Düsseldorf (21-23 March 2010)

The VDP stand at this important trade fair is always a magnet for pros and press alike.

Wine ball, Wiesbaden (24 April 2010)

The annual wine ball will be a glamorous birthday party for the VDP. Dance, gamble, and indulge in delicious food and wine – all in the sign of the eagle.

VDP Weinbörse, Mainz (25-26 April 2010)

The world’s largest trade fair for top German wines, will open with a special service, held by cardinal Lehmann in the historical Dom in Mainz. Other highlights include wine seminars that will focus on fine wines and be conducted by internationally recognized moderators.

GutsWein and Premiere Grosses Gewachs, Berlin (5-6 September 2010)

Once again Berlin will be the backdrop for the annual GutsWein presentation– but in 2010, wine enthusiasts will have an opportunity to discover first-rate VDP wines in not just one, but in many illustrious art galleries in the heart of the city. Also the Premiere Grosses Gewachs will be presented in Berlin. And the official ceremony in honor of the VDP centennial will also take place in Berlin, in the Berliner Dom.

Picture: VDP Logo on Bottle

VDP wine week (4-18 September 2010)

For the first time ever the VDP is organizing a VDP wine week during which 100 restaurateurs and 100 specialty shop merchants will feature top-notch VDP wines, thereby offering “wine gourmets” a terrific opportunity to become acquainted with the “stylized eagle bearing a cluster of grapes” – the logo that adorns the capsules of these fine wines.

VDP Wine Auctions (24.-26.09.2010)

Presentation Grosses Gewächs, Kloster Eberbach (26 September 2010)

Night-long events in VDP members’ wine cellars (26 – 28 November 2010)

The centennial celebration will finish on 26 November 2010, with night-long events in VDP members’ wine cellars.

The complete centennial program is on the VDP website (www.vdp.de) and will be updated on a regular basis.

You can find a list with all the VDP Estates and links to there web sites here.

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