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Published:  23 July, 2008

A new classification for German wine has been adopted by the Verband Deutscher Prdikatsweingter (VDP). The three-tier model was one of several important resolutions passed at the VDP's AGM, and was described by its president Michael Prinz zu Salm-Salm as "an historical breakthrough". The grands crus, accounting for roughly 5% of overall production, will be known as "Grosses Gewchs" or "Erste Lage", except in the Rheingau, where VDP members will retain the "Erstes Gewchs" designation. Below these will be "klassifizierten Lagenweine" from classified sites, then "Gutsweine" and "Ortsweine" ("house wines"). All levels will be subject to the general quality standards prescribed by the VDP in 1990, though regional associations may stipulate stricter conditions.