Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Three New VDP Members - Germany's Top Winemakers

Picture 100 Years VDP in 2010

Effective January 1, 2010, the VDP welcomed three new members, bringing its total in its 100th anniversary year to 196 members.

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. They cultivate about four percent of Germany’s vineyard area. Membership in the VDP requires voluntary adherence to “in-house” quality criteria that exceed the minimums prescribed by the German wine law of 1971, including: yields are limited and vineyards are planted primarily with traditional grape varieties. Since 1990, 104 estates have become new members in the VDP and 67 winemakers have left the VDP.

One of its major undertaking in recent years has been a new classification of its members' vineyard sites, using Burgundy as a model:

• Gutsweine (house wines), labeled with a proprietary, village or regional name.
• klassifizierte Lagenweine (wines from a classified/superior site), labeled with a vineyard site name.
• Erste Lage (wines from a top site), labeled with a vineyard site name and the logo, a numeral “one” next to a stylized cluster of grapes. Only a Erste Lage wine can be a Grosses Gewaechs wine.

Here are the 3 new VDP members.

Klaus Zimmerling, Sachsen

The Klaus Zimmerling works at the northern frontier of winemaking in Germany. He has learned to make the best out of the less favorable climate conditons, which contribute to smaller, but rather tasty grapes. Zimmerling’s vineyards are in the Pillnitzer Koenigliche Weinberg on gneiss and granite. He applies strict organic principles in the vineyard.. Typically, he harvests under these conditions only 20-30 hectoliters per hectare. Expressive and very special are the labels on the bottles, with images of sculptures by his wife Malgorzata Chodakowska - a testimony of the lived connection between wine and art.

Picture: Klaus Zimmerling

Along with Schloss Proschnitz, the Zimmerling Estate is the highest ranking wine producer in the small and new region of Sachsen, in the former East Germany. It is a small Estate, with only 5 hectares.

Klaus Zimmerling, Bergweg 27, 01326 Dresden, Tel.: 0351 2618752, Fax: 0351 2618752, info@weingut-zimmerling.de, http://www.weingut-zimmerling.de

Konrad Schlör, Baden

"My motivation is the passion, work consciously throughout the whole year; to improve and grow, to avoid mistakes and to stay creative," Konrad Schlör has shown that top quality wines can be produced in the Tauber valley in Baden. Since 1984, the Schloer Estate has been planting autochtone grape varieties , mainly on limestone and sandstone soils, such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc and Sylvaner. 15 years later Schlör is among the best.

Picture: Konrad and Monika Schloer

Weingut Konrad Schloer is in the 3 Gault Millau Grapes group. His Estate is also small, with 5.5 hectares of land.

Weingut Schlör, Martin-Schlör-Str. 22, 97877 Wertheim-Reicholzheim,
Tel: 09342 4976, Fax: 09342 6959, info@weingut-schloer.de, http://www.weingut-schloer.de

Thomas Seeger, Baden

Thomas Seeger led the centuries-old winery of the family to the group of top German wine producers. His claim sounds simple: wine should taste. In his view, the quality of wine originates in the vineyard and he sees it as his main task to bring this quality directly into the bottle. Seeger belongs to the generation of winemakers who have in the 1980s and 1990s brought the German wine to new hights.

Picture: Thomas Seeger

Weingut Seeger also has 3 Gault and Millau Grapes, was the Discovery of the Year in 1996, and, with 8 hectars is slightly large than the other two new members, but still at the size where it is typically family-run.

Weingut Seeger, Rohrbacher Strasse 101, 69181 Leimen, Telefon: 06224 72178, Fax: 06224 78363, info@seegerweingut.de, http://www.seegerweingut.de

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