Top German producers introduce a new classification system for top end sparkling wines.
Germans love sparkling wine, so much so that of the 2 billion bottles made in the world, approximately a quarter is consumed in Germany. Of this, 80% are made in Germany, according to wine critic Jamie Goode.
Now Germany's Verband Deutscher Prädikats (VDP) producers have launched a new range of sparkling wine classifications.
The VDP. Sekt classification demands that traditional bottle fermentation is compulsory for all four VDP categories for Sekt. Two of these — VDP. Gutsekt and VDP. Ortsekt 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.
Regulations are set for the alcohol content of the base wine and the grapes must be hand picked and must be derived from vineyards which belong to the VDP and are cultivated specifically for Sekt production.