New classification for German sparkling wine.

VDP, the Germany’s top wine estates has established a new classification for Sekt, the german sparkling wine.

The VDP.Sekt Classification mirrors the VDP.Origin pyramid for wine classification with the category levels VDP.GUTSSEKT, VDP.ORTSSEKT, VDP.ERSTE LAGE and VDP.GROSSE LAGE.

The sekt classification stipulates stringent quality criteria that are modelled after the strict regulations for champagne production.

As in the Champagne, traditional bottle fermentation is mandatory for all four VDP.Origin categories. VDP.GUTSSEKT and VDP.ORTSSEKT must remain at least 15 months on the yeast. The single-vineyard VDP.ERSTE LAGE® and VDP.GROSSE LAGE® sekt and all vintage sekt must spend a minimum of 36 months on the yeast. These maturation periods are also modelled after champagne. All grapes are picked early by hand and must stem from estate vineyards. Regulations are also set for the alcohol content of the base wine and the maximal volume of juice crushed from grapes.

“The strict quality criteria of the VDP.SEKT.STATUTE meet the highest international expectations. The VDP thus reinforces its pioneering role as a guarantor and champion of highest wine and now also sparkling wine enjoyment,” states VDP.President Steffen Christmann. Recognition of German sekt has increased among both domestic and international wine enthusiasts in recent years, yet the term German sekt remains very broad. “We want to provide a quality compass to wine consumers at home and abroad with our VDP.SEKT.STATUTE. This should lend a means of orientation when making a selection from the wide range of products available on the wine shelf,” says Christmann.