Not too long ago I wrote about a private project, weinlagen.info, listing the worlds vineyards in an interactive map. A mega project run by some real wine wonks out of the beautiful town of Heidelberg in Baden, Germany. Now, just this week the VDP, the elite association of German winemakers, released its own version of an interactive vineyards map. Here's some first impressions:
This one is focused on VDP classified vineyards in Germany, listing all grand cru vineyards, called VDP.GROSSE LAGEN and VDP.ERSTE LAGEN. The VDP claims it to be the largest compendium of its kind, which is somehow hard to believe, given its limitation to German vineyards only. At this point 771 vineyards are listed in the VDP version – compared to close to 12,000 vineyards listed on weinlagen.info .
However, let’s not be petty, the VDP interactive vineyard map is surely nicer to look at and is good fun to play with. Though for the time being some German skills will come in handy – no English version is provided yet. One can zoom in and out of German wine regions, right into villages and vineyards, and explore vintners associated to these terrains. If you are seeking more detailed information, simply click on the map to bring up an information window with photos, winemakers information and facts about the steepness, altitude, aspect, soil and climate. Besides pictures there is also descriptions explaining the particularities of a site - including its history.
Also, there are informative texts about the various wine regions, quick overview vineyard lists, and some more functions.
While the German-only version cuts into the fun of browsing and exploring, the map and pictures speak for themselves, and those are really good … and Google Translate does a surprisingly good job in on-page translations.
Now go and enjoy your virtual tour of German vineyards at VDP.Weinberg.Online.