Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Exclusive, Limited Edition: 100 Cases for 100 Years - Germany’s VDP Auctioning off 100 Cases of Grosses Gewaechs and Erstes Gewaechs Wines

Picture: Christian G.E.Schiller with Helmut Doennhoff

Exclusive, Limited Edition: 100 Cases for 100 Years - Germany’s VDP Auctioning off 100 Cases of Grosses Gewaechs and Erstes Gewaechs Wines

On the occasion of its 100th Anniversary, the VDP has put together 100 cases with a selection of 12 outstanding wines from VDP members. It will auction these cases off. The wines are all Grosses/Erstes Gewaechs wines. Three of the wines are Pinot Noirs from 2007, the rest is Riesling from 2008.

Grosses/Erstes Gewaechs Wines

The Grosse Gewaechs and Erstes Gewaechs wine concepts were introduced a few years ago. These terms basically mean the same thing but for some reasons the latter is used in the Rheingau and the former in all other wine regions. Grosse/Erste Gewaechs wines are always fully fermented, dry wines of execeptional quality . The Grosse/Erste Gewaechs lable is thought to resemble the Grand/Premier Cru designation in neighboring France. Here and there, these wines are dry. Grosse/Erste Gewaechs refers to a top dry wine from a top vineyard.

Picture: Christian G.E.Schiller with Tim Froehlich

It should be noted that as a rule Grosse Gewaechs and Erstes Gewaechs wines are always sold as QbA wines – Qualitaetswein besonderer Anbaugebiete. QbA wines, under German law, are allowed to be chaptalised, with the purpose of increasing the alcohol content of the wine. More generally, under the new classification system of the VDP, all dry wines are systematically labeled as QbA wines.

10 VDP Winemakers

The winemakers are among the the crème de la crème winemakers in Germany, the VDP.. The 200 members of VDP own 4,000 hectares of vines, representing 4% of the German vineyard area, but account for only 2% of total production. Typically, around 1.0m bottles of their production qualify as Grosses/Erstes Gewächs wines every year, representing about 3% of the output of the about ¾ of the members of the VDP producing Grosses Gewaechs and Erstes Gewaechs wines.

Picture: Christian G.E.Schiller with Philipp Wittmann

Interestingly, among the 10 winemakers, there is not a single winemaker from the Mosel, as the Mosel is focusing more on producing world class noble sweet wines. The wines in the case are all Grosses Geweaechs and Erstes Gewaechs wines and are thus bone dry wines. Bidders should not expect sweet wines.

Bidding Process

The bidding is being done electronically and has started on May 1. 2010. The minimum starting bid is Euro 750. Those interested in placing a bid may do so by contacting the VDP headquarters in Gau-Algesheim. The offer is limited to one case per person. Successful bidders will be announced on 26 November, the founding date of the VDP, during the centennial finale.

Picture: Schloss Johannisberg

The proceeds will go to the Beckenbauer Foundation, a charity for the needy in Germany. Franz Beckenbauer, Germany’s soccer legend, received the first VDP cult case during of the VDP wine ball in Wiesbaden on April 24. Michael Prinz zu Salm-Salm, honorary president of the VDP, presented the exclusive edition to Beckenbauer, who promised to auction it to the highest bidder.

The Wines

2008 BRUNNENHÄUSCHEN Riesling Wittmann
2008 DELLCHEN Riesling H. Dönnhoff
2008 FELSENECK Riesling Schäfer-Fröhlich
2008 GRÄFENBERG Riesling Robert Weil
2008 KASTANIENBUSCH Riesling Ökonomierat Rebholz
2008 SCHLOSS JOHANNISBERGER Riesling Weinbaudomäne Schloss Johannisberg
2008 MARIENBURG "ROTHENPFAD" Riesling Clemens Busch
2008 IDIG Riesling A. Christmann
2008 KIRCHENSTÜCK Riesling Franz Künstler
2007 CENTGRAFENBERG Spätburgunder Rudolf Fürst
2007 SOMMERHALDE Spätburgunder Bernhard Huber
2007 PFARRWINGERT Spätburgunder Meyer-Näkel

Picture: Christian G.E. and Annette Schiller with Gunter Kuenstler

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