Schloss Wackerbarth in Radebeul not only upholds the Bussard tradition but adheres strictly to the classic méthode champenoise, in which the second fermentation takes place in the bottle itself – the typically bulbous Sachsenkeule.
The first stage takes place in the cool, dark cellars with the addition of yeast to the cuvee which is then left to ferment for a couple of months. Next comes the so-called remuage: the corked bottle is rotated daily by a few degrees and gradually tilted forward in the rack so that the yeast collects in the bottleneck, from which it can now be removed – the German term is Enthefung, literally ‘de‑yeasting’. The bottle neck is frozen at a temperature of around -20°C, and the cork is eased out. The pressure drives out the yeast plug.
To the cuvée is added the dosage, a mixture of wine and sugar which gives the champagne its final taste notes and determines how dry it will be. The Latin word for ‘dry’ – siccus – is the origin of the German name for sparkling wine, Sekt.
75 estates and producers entered around 500 sparkling wines for the 2018 Deutscher Sekt Award. Schloss Wackerbarth’s 2016 Traminer and 2015 Scheurebe received awards in the Sekte mit Restsüsse (Sekt with Residual Sweetness) category, while the Cuvée Tradition brut came third in the Grosse Vielfalt (Grand Variety) class. Yet another reason to pop the corks!