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First crop

A designation for dry wines from classified top sites, the so-called "Erste Lagen", introduced for the first time with the 1999 vintage and permitted exclusively in the German Rheingau region. The reason for this is that the Rheingau was the only growing region before the VDP classification introduced in 2002, which had already created a legally legitimised quality mark ordinance in 1999, and Erstes Gewächs is a quality mark registered by the state of Hesse. The Rheingau members of the VDP (Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter - Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates) will use the VDP's own (and analogously equivalent) designation "VDP Grosses Gewächs" from the 2012 vintage onwards, as will the association members from the other growing regions.

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