Austrian Sekt” or “Austrian Qualitätsschaumwein” may be offered on the market under this designation only when it is produced exclusively from the 35 grape varieties permissible for the production of Qualitätswein in Austria, and is free from defects in appearance, smell and flavour.
In addition, Austria has introduced a “quality pyramid” for its Sekt, (sparkling wine) with three categories ranging from “Klassik” to “Grosse Reserve”.The objective of the ranking is to “communicate clear information to consumers purchasing Austrian Sekt, concerning [the] point of origin as well as a style of certified quality to be anticipated,” says the Austrian Wine Board.
The three categories take into consideration the production method as well as the minimum amount of time spent on lees. The “Klassik” category refers to Sekt that has been made from grapes harvested in one region, that has been made by any “suitable” method allowed and wine having matured for a at least nine months on its lees.
The “Reserve” category regroups wines made from grapes harvested in one state and exclusively made by traditional method with a minimum of 18 months on lees. The super-premium range, “Grosse Reserve”, classifies Sekts made from grapes harvested in a single municipality, exclusively bottle fermented and with a minimum 30 months aged on lees.