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®. This shall enable VDP.Members to clearly highlight the quality and status of there sekt in the future. The sekt classification stipulates stringent quality criteria that are modelled after the strict regulations for champagne production.
Firstly, 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. 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. All of the strict VDP.Regulations are applied to the sekt base wine and described in the specification guidelines.
The focus of the VDP.Quality strategy is “good sekt from the beginning”. The VDP.German Prädikat Wine Estates are committed to producing sparkling wines according to the VDP.SEKT.STATUTE, which stipulates that wines must stem from well-suited vineyards that are cultivated specifically for sekt production from pruning to a conscientiously selected early picking date, which is traditional for high-quality sparkling wines.
“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.
Journalist and sparkling wine expert Anne Krebiehl MW, who has supported the ideological process of the VDP.Sekt Classification, states, “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.” Regional differences highlight the diversity of German sparkling wines: the uniqueness and distinctive attributes of Riesling sekt as well as sekt from Chardonnay and Burgundian varieties. Single-vineyard sekt are wonderful time-capsules to preserve. “Sekt adds new facets to varieties, vintages and vineyards. Every little bubble is like a magnifying glass in which everything is distinctly clear,” expounds Krebiehl.
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In addition to the VDP.SEKT.STATUTE, the general assembly also discussed other topics. Another focal point was the question of the association’s future communications. The VDP plans to launch a new marketing strategy to raise awareness of the association and recognition of the VDP.Eagle logo on bottle necks as a quality promise and accolade that provides orientation on the wine shelf.
The annual VDP.General Assembly takes place in a different region each year, this year in Oberwesel in Mittelrhein. The top German wine estates will meet next year in Rheinhessen.