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A book that begins with sixteen gentlemen and deals with a flightless eagle and a hundred years of club history? This doesn't sound like an exciting read. But wine lovers who open "Im Zeichen des Traubenadlers - Eine Geschichte des deutschen Weins" (In the Sign of the Grape Eagle - A History of German Wine) by Daniel Deckers will not put the book down again so quickly!

After all, someone is writing here who knows a lot about both: about writing and about wine. And after all, the gentlemen mentioned at the beginning of this article have founded one of the most remarkable alliances the German viticulture has ever experienced: the VDNV association of German natural wine auctioneers, today called VDP association of German Prädikat Wine Estates. However, not only the association itself and its eventful history deserve interest. Also its quality mark, the aforementioned eagle, is really exciting as an early example for the successful establishment of a brand.

Deckers describes on more than 200 pages how closely the success story of German wine is connected with the history of the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates. He tells insightfully and pointedly about wine and war, about "blood and soil" and Jewish wine traders, reconstruction and wine laws, about the ups and downs of great names - and about the origin and fame of great wines.

Because one hundred years ago, Riesling from Germany enjoyed the highest reputation worldwide: The auctions of the "naturally pure noble growths" from the Rheingau, the Rhine Palatinate, from Rhine Hesse and from the Moselle, Saar and Ruwer were events of international standing. The wine trade paid top prices and on the wine lists of the most famous hotels and clubs as well as the largest liners the "Creszenzen" from Germany competed with the most sought-after wines of France.

And Deckers also shows this in his book, which is worth reading: Not least because the VDP in the hundred years of its existence unswervingly stuck to the ideal of the "natural wine" and successfully defended its quality ideals under the trademark of the grape eagle against resistance, German wine is today again as respected as it was at the beginning of the 20th century. Numerous previously unpublished documents and illustrations make this volume a unique look at the history of German wine. A book for friends of natural wine and those who want to become one!

Daniel Deckers
Under the sign of the grape eagle
A history of German wine

Publisher Philipp von Zabern
ca. 224 p., ca. 90 col. ill
21 x 23 cm
hardcover with dust jacket
€ 29,90 (D) / sFr 47,90
ISBN 978-3-8053-4248-3
ET: 28.09.2010

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