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Posted: Tuesday, 17 July 2018 17:51

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VDP takes German Sparkling Wine under its Wings

July 17: Verband Deutscher Qualitäts-und Prädikatsweingüter (VDP), world's oldest and the only national association having as members 195 premium German wine estates, has established a Sekt (sparkling wine) classification based on the VDP Origin Pyramid in order to seek highest recognition or the German Sekt, at their General Assembly held recently in the village of Oberwesel in Mittelrhein

Founded in 1910 and committed to highest wine quality, VDP is now seeking to achieve higher recognition of German Sekt (sparkling wine) by establishing their first VDP Sekt Classification at their recent general assembly, according to a Press Release. 195 of the top German wine estates are united in the high quality criteria that they apply to their wines and now juxtapose the similar criteria to their new VDP Sekt Statute for the production of sparkling wines.

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.GroseeLage. This classification will help members of VDP to highlight the quality and status of their Sekt in future. The Sekt classification stipulates stringent quality criteria that are modelled after the strict regulations for production of champagne.

Traditional second fermentation in the bottle is mandatory for all four categories, like in Champagne. VDP.GutsSekt and VDP.OrtsSekt must remain at least 15 months on the yeast. The single-vineyard VDP.Erste Lage and VDP.GroseeLage Sekt and all vintage Sekts must spend a minimum of 36 months on the yeast. These maturation periods are also modelled after Champagne.  All grapes are hand- picked and must be from estate vineyards. Regulations have been also set for the alcohol content of the base wine and the maximal volume of juice crushed from grapes. All the VDP Regulations are applied to the sekt base wine and described in the specification guidelines.

The focus of the VDP quality strategy is to seek 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 be made from vineyards cultivated specifically for sekt production from pruning to a conscientiously selected early picking date, 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 high quality wine and now also sparkling wine,” says Steffen Christmann, current President of VDP. Recognition of German sekt has increased among both domestic and international wine enthusiasts in recent years, yet the quality and meaning of German sekt remains very broad. “We want to provide a quality compass to wine consumers at home and abroad with our statute. This should lend a means of orientation when making a selection from the wide range of products available on the wine shelf,” says ChristmannThis should  lend  a means of orientation when making a selection from the wide range of products available on the wine shelf.

German-born English based journalist and sparkling wine expert Anne Krebiehl MW, who supports the process of the new VDP Sekt Classification, says, “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 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 Burgundy grape variety-Pinot Noir. 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,” adds Krebiehl.

For a related Article about VDP, please visit:

WWS: VDP-Self Regulation within German Laws

VDP.SEKT.STATUTE (VDP Rules for Sparkling Wines) 

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