Introduced for the first time with the vintage 1999 and exclusively in the German growing area Rheingau permissible designation for dry developed wines from classified prime locations, the so-called "first layers". This is due to the fact that the Rheingau is the only winegrowing area to be introduced in 2002 VDP classification Already in the year 1999 a legally legitimated quality mark regulation had created and first crop is a quality mark registered by the country Hessen. The Rheingau members in the VDP (Association of German Prädikatsweingüter) use as of the year 2012, as well as the members of the association from the other growing areas, the VDP own (and analogous equivalent) label "VDP Grosses Gewächs".
The VDP-Rheingau adheres to the classification of the underlying layer quality map. It's just the varieties Riesling and Pinot Noir ( Pinot Noir ), which come from particularly high-quality vineyards. These are sharply demarcated plots (bones) of the classified layers. This classification was made according to scientific criteria with the institute Geisenheim Developed. Parts of 79 of the total of 123 Rheingau sites were classified. Due to the cultivation and production criteria as well as the sensory However, only about 3% of the total harvest is classified as the first crop.
General conditions are wines off Erzeugerabfüllung or Gutsabfüllung in the dry area, low hectare yield (maximum 6 eyes per m², maximum 50 hl / ha), hand-picked and at least late reading suitable Mostgewicht, Riesling wines must have at least 12% vol alcohol content and a maximum of 13 g / l residual sugar (VDP determination since 2005 is 9 g / l). For joint presentations of first plants (Rheingau specification) and Big plants (VDP specification) are 9 g / l, so that each Rheingau VDP operation can decide freely regarding the residual sugar for one of the two variants. For Pinot Noir wines these are at least 13% vol total alcohol content and a maximum of 6 g / l residual sugar.
The wines will be special at the earliest on the 1st of May of the following year sensory checked. A marketing is allowed at the earliest from the 1st of September of the following year. Already in circulation wines can be rechecked and with a negative result further marketing prohibited. The in the Rheingau Schlegel bottles bottled wines with the VDP capsule wear on the bottle label the text "First Growth" with three Romanesque double bows on a black ground (see also under Charter Rheingau ).
In February 2012, the Rheingauer Weinbauverband submitted an application to the Hessian state government to amend section 10 of the Hessian Implementing Regulation on wine rights and phylloxera control (HAVO) with regard to the "attribution of quality marks". The goal was to rename the former name "First Growth" into the so far exclusively used by the VDP "Big Growth". In March 2013, the decision was made. The approximately 50 VDP members in the Rheingau can now call their top dry wines from the "VDP Grossen Lagen" "VDP Grosses Gewächs". The remaining Rheingau winemakers continue to stay with the name "Erstes Gewächs". See also at the VDP (Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter) valid levels below VDP classification,