The GROSSER RING is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
It was founded in 1908, when the Mayor of Trier, Albert von Bruchhausen, united three existing consortia of wine estates into the Trier Association of Mosel, Saar and Ruwer Wine Estate Owners, known shortly thereafter as the GROSSER RING. Its members produced only “natural wines” (i.e. neither chaptalized nor de-acidified) from their own holdings, and sold them exclusively at auction. Two years later, using the GROSSER RING as a model, von Bruchhausen brought together similar associations that had developed in other German wine-growing regions. The new national organization was the forerunner of today’s renowned Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter, or VDP (Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates).
At the time of its founding, the GROSSER RING had 56 members, and von Bruchhausen, then the director of the Vereinigte Hospitien estate in Trier, was elected its first president. To this day the association has strived to foster the sales and quality of its members’ wines, not least through annual wine auctions.
The GROSSER RING has held 120 wine auctions since the 19th century. For reasons of space, it is not possible to list all the record-breaking prices that have been achieved over the years. However, they bear witness to the success of the GROSSER RING and its members’ pursuit of quality. The Trier auction results have long served as a benchmark for the entire Mosel region.
Today, the association is officially known as the GROSSER RING VDP Mosel-Saar-Ruwer and comprises 31 members. Many of their names appeared in the original register and have barely changed since then. In the 100 years of its history, the association has had only five presidents:
1908- 1935 Albert von Bruchhausen, Trier
1935- 1963 Alfons Claessens, Wawern
1963 - 1984 Werner Tyrell, Trier-Eitelsbach
1984 - 2004 Wilhelm Haag, Brauneberg
2004 - 2008 Eberhard von Kunow, Oberemmel
Since 2008 Egon Müller-Scharzhof, Wiltingen
The GROSSER RING has pursued new activities in the course of globalization, and now organizes presentations and sales events domestically and abroad. Yet, the auctions remain highlights. Today, as 100 years ago, quality remains the prerequisite for success: “Dedicated to Quality by Tradition.”
Members are individual or legal entities who have holdings in the Mosel, Saar, and Ruwer valleys. In addition, members must
• own good and top vineyard sites
• cultivate at least 80% Riesling
• be full-time wine-growers
• harvest an above-average quantity of Prädikat wines.
Members’ wines are easily recognized by the VDP logo, a stylized eagle bearing a cluster of grapes, and the initials VDP on the package.
Given its dedication to quality and the achievements it has made thus far, the GROSSER RING believes that it is well equipped for yet another century.