The iconic Koehler-Ruprecht Estate leaves the VDP and the reason is, as so often, the new VDP vineyard classification system.
The Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht in the Pfalz is not any Estate. It is one of the icons of dry Riesling, not only in Germany but worldwide. Its R and RR bottlings can be legendary.
As recently as last June, we featured the nearly perfect 2004er Kallstadter Saumagen Auslese Trocken R featured as "Wine of the Month" and one of the best Riesling produced in 2004.
The press release issued this morning by the Estate underlines in the incompatibility of the classification of the VDP with the Estate’s philosophy. This concerns in particular the following provisions of the classification:
While we understand some the issues raised by the Koehler-Ruprecht Estate. In particular the fact that only one wine can be produced per site is debatable: Burgundy does not require this. We also understand some of the points of view of the VDP (“everybody chaptalizes, even Burgundy, so why not us?”).
The rationale for leaving may seem complex to understand and indeed, the VDP classification has been at the basis of many questions by our readers as well. As a matter of fact, independently of this move by Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht, we were busy writing a detailed article on the classification to be released in the upcoming Mosel Fine October Issue No 26 (Oct 2014). In this article, we provide the background, rationale and reasoning behind the VDP classification and explain some of the issues touched by the Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht here.
We deeply regret the move by Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht and the VDP as it will not make life easier for consumers. TWO of the icons of dry Riesling have now left the VDP (Weingut Georg Breuer and Weingut Koehler-Ruprecht). Both follow new their own denomination system. Also, in the Mosel, many top producers of dry Riesling are not in the VDP either and have also their own "system." It is about time to rationalize all this, for the sake of the consumer.
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling ... and beyond!"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.