German wineries launch new classification for sparkling wine

An association representing Germany’s top wine estates has established a new classification for Sekt; the country’s sparkling wine.

Vineyards and church at Merl, Germany, in autumn

Verband Deutscher Prädikats (VDP) is an organisation where most (but not all) of Germany’s best known and most highly regarded wine producers are members. Around 195 wineries in the country are signed up to the association’s strict internal quality standards and classifications from vine to bottle.

The VDP established its first Sekt classification at its general assembly this week.

The VDP. Sekt classification mirrors the VDP.Origin pyramid for wine classification in Germany.

Traditional bottle fermentation is compulsory for all four VDP origin categories for Sekt. Two of these — VDP. Gutssekt and VDP. Ortssekt must remain at least 15 months on the lees.

The single-vineyard categories VDP. Erste Lage and VDP. Grosse Lage Sekt, and all single-vintage sekt expressions, must spend a minimum of 36 months on the lees.

These maturation periods, according to VDP are “modelled after Champagne.”

All grapes, the body claims, have to be picked early, by hand, and must be derived from vineyards which belong to the VDP and are cultivated specifically for sekt production

Regulations are also set for the alcohol content of the base wine and the maximal volume of juice crushed from grapes. All of the strict VDP.Regulations are applied to the Sekt base wine and described in the specification guidelines.

Wine writer Anne Krebiehl MW, who has supported the ideological process of the VDP.Sekt Classification, said, “Sekt produced as an independent category under the same uncompromising quality aspects as single-vineyard wines is quite thought provoking. This will inspire sparkling wine drinkers and enthusiasts to discover and redefine this category for themselves.”

As well as this, the VDP plans to launch a new marketing strategy to raise awareness of the association and its efforts to raise the profile of German fizz.

One Response to “German wineries launch new classification for sparkling wine”

  1. Robert says:

    VDP. Gutsekt and VDP. Ortsekt are both missing a letter and should be VDP.Ortssekt and Gutssekt respectively.

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