The Art of Making Sekt
Sekt production is an art. And the success of each bottle requires a great deal of time and patience. We accept no compromises when it comes to quality. That’s why we select only the finest sites and fruit, seeking every year anew to draw the best out of nature.
We believe that the best grapes can only come by working in harmony with nature. Our cuvées are sourced exclusively from our own vineyards, growing in the dynamic calcareous, loess, and marl soils of Rheinhessen and the Pfalz.
Our base wine is transformed into sekt through a second fermentation in the bottle. This technique, known as the “méthode traditionnelle,” demands time and skill. Done right, it is the portal to sparkling wines of remarkable quality.
Extended Lees Contact
Time and patience are essential ingredients in crafting a fine sekt. Extended lees maturation lends the sekt depth and complexity. We allow our sekts at least 36 months, and in some cases as many as 120 months, to age in the bottle.
The quality of our sekt is established in the vineyard. We cultivate our vineyards organically, harvesting only 100% healthy grapes each autumn—all by hand, of course. Choosing the right moment to harvest also plays an important role in achieving a balance of ripeness and freshness.
Whole Cluster Pressing
The grape harvest is followed by a gentle and gradual whole cluster pressing of the healthy grapes. We use only the heart of the pressing, known as the cuvée, in the production of our sekts. Our experience shows that this choice lays the essential foundation needed for exceptionally fine and elegant sparkling wines.
The must ferments into base wine at our winery, in a mix of stainless steel and wooden barrels. Each vineyard parcel is vinified separately to encourage its own individual character. Our base wines then rest on the fine lees until the following spring.
The blending process begins for us in March. We invest several months in tasting our base wines and forming opinions on which wines from which vineyards, varieties, and vintages will be blended in which proportions. This process—also known as the ‘assemblage’—is a central element in sekt production and plays a crucial role in the ultimate quality of the sekt.
The blended wine is then bottled together with the liqueur de tirage (a mix of must and yeast or sugar and yeast), at which point it begins a second alcoholic fermentation into sparkling wine. The yeast converts the sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide, which produces the pressure in the bottle. The sugar is completely consumed in the process, leaving no residual sweetness in the sekt.
Bottle Fermentation & Lees Maturation
This second fermentation takes place in the same bottle that will later be sold, often years later. Once second fermentation is complete, our sparkling wines rest for at least 36 months in our sekt cellar. Our “Grande Réserve” spends at least ten years maturing. During this time, yeast autolysis shapes the aromas of the sparkling wine and refines its bead. This process plays a massive role in the fine taste of our product.
After multiple years of maturation on the lees, the accumulated deposits must be removed. This is achieved by putting the bottles onto a riddling board or rack. The bottles are turned at specific intervals so that the dead yeast moves step by step into the neck of the bottle.
As soon as the yeast settles in the neck of the bottle, it can be removed, leaving only the clear sparkling wine. To do so, the neck of the bottle is briefly frozen (the French term is ‘dégorgement à la glace’). We then remove the cork and allow the strong interior pressure of up to six bars to eject the yeast plug.
Before the bottles are sealed with a sparkling wine cork, agraffe (wire cage), and plaque du muselet, the sekt receives its final polish and desired notes through a final dosage, known as the ‘liqueur d’expedition.’ Our sekts are only ever given a small dosage of 0 g/l (Brut Nature) to 7 g/l (Brut).