Blankenhornsberger Doktorgarten – a VDP.GROSSE LAGE vineyardThe Blankenhornsberger Doktorgarten is a vineyard in the parish of Ihringen, at the southwestern extremity of the Kaiserstuhl range. It is one of Germany’s top 100 terroirs, named after our founder Professor Adolph Blankenhorn in the year 1971, and classified as a grand-cru, or VDP.GROSSE LAGE. Its heat-retaining soils are unique in Germany, and combine with the generally mild climate in this region to produce outstanding conditions for grape cultivation. We have especially good experience here with the Burgundian pinot varieties plus Chardonnay and create VDP.GROSSE GEWÄCHSE from all four grape types.
VDP – Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter is a bit of a mouthful for non-German speakers! It stands for the association of premium wine producers. The state vineyard has been an invited member since 2003, and its bottles bear the grape eagle as a sign of the outstanding terroirs on which we grow some of the world’s great wines, using techniques that conserve biodiversity, in limited quantities and leaving time for fermenting and maturation. The vineyard and its operations undergo a regular and rigorous test every five years to justify our continued use of the brand.
The VDP Classification pyramid illustrated below outlines the quality levels at which we produce:
VDP.GROSSE LAGE – the peak of the pyramid
VDP.GROSSE LAGE designates the finest parcels of Germany’s top vineyards. Unique and expressive wines with aging potential are created from these parcels. Only specific grape varieties are to be planted on these exceptional parcels, and they are harvested and vinified in limited quantities. In September of the year following their harvest, the white VDP.GROSSE GEWÄCHSE may be made available for sale; and a further year later, the red VDP.GROSSE GEWÄCHSE join them.
This label designates distinctive first-class vineyards, with optimal growing conditions evidenced over long periods. Dry VDP.ERSTE LAGE wines may be called Qualitätswein trocken, and may not be put on sale until the April following their harvest.
VDP.ORTSWEIN is an ambassador for its village. It will be drawn from known high-performing areas of a given parish, planted with regionally typical grape varieties or the newer disease-resistant crosses, but still with restricted yields. Even at this quality level, the VDP insists that the bottles thus branded may not be put on sale until 1 March of the year following their harvest.