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With a ceremony at the Jagdschloss Platte in Wiesbaden as well as a video, the VDP members celebrated the 20th anniversary of their classification with the Grosses Gewächs as a dry wine from a top vineyard. In 2002, the VDP members' meeting had adopted the definition of the Grosses Gewächs as a dry wine, as well as putting the fruit and noble sweet wines with the legal designations Kabinett, Spätlese and Auslese on a par with it in terms of quality. The one with grape on the bottle became the hallmark of the wines.

This year in Berlin, 78 VDP wineries presented wines from about 100 sites for the first time, based on the preliminary work of the "Comitées Erstes Gewächs" in the Rheingau, the Palatinate and Rheinhessen. The top wines of the 2001 vintage shown in 2002 cost between about 13 and 25 euros.

Among the most important personalities on the path to VDP classification are Rheingau winemaker Bernhard Breuer, who died in 2004 at the age of 57, and wine critic Mario Scheuermann, who died in 2015.

In 2001, the general meeting had adopted the first internal association classification of origins with a three-level model. The wines of the "Grosses Gewächs" classification, which was not yet binding at first, come from the 2000 vintage - for example from the Rhine-Hessian wineries Wittmann, St. Antony and Heyl zu Herrnsheim.

With the adoption of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer classification in 2003, the VDP initially laid down the flavour definitions for the fruit-sweet predicates of the top classification level. It is called "Erste Lage". The background to the choice of name was the significantly greater presence of wines from Großlagen in the trade compared to today. At that time, according to the VDP, there was a risk of confusion among customers between Großlage and Grosser Lage.

It was not until the Marienthal resolutions in 2006 that the VDP defined that Grosse Gewächse are legally vinified dry, i.e. with a maximum of nine grams of residual sugar. Ten years ago, the VDP expanded its classification to include the new "Erste Lage" level, which is second only to the top origin that has since been named "Große Lage".

(uka / Source: Press release - Photo: VDP)