Things are moving forward
There is no doubt that the "Erste Lage" concept has developed into a success story in recent years after bumpy beginnings. Especially the dry Grosse Gewächse and Erste Gewächse (the latter only in the Rheingau) are the focus of attention every September among local and increasingly also foreign experts. The quantity of wines produced has also risen steadily in recent years: While in 2002 only 108 dry top wines came onto the market, this year there are already 360 (expressly not counting the part of the Rheingau First Growths that are produced with sugar values in the legally semi-dry range due to a special regulation).
It is particularly pleasing that the qualitative development has not come to a standstill during this time. In the past, the VDP had to put up with considerable criticism because too many of the wines presented did not meet the high standards by far. Today, the Grosses and Erstes Gewächse are still far from being truly "great", but they are almost all of a high standard with a much more homogeneous quality.