Monday, January 13, 2020

Sekthaus Raumland Joins VDP, the German Association of Elite Winemakers

Picture: Tasting at Sekthaus Raumland in Flörsheim-Dalsheim, Rheinhessen, with Heide-Rose and Volker Raumland. See: See: Tasting at Sekthaus Raumland in Flörsheim-Dalsheim, Rheinhessen, with Heide-Rose and Volker Raumland - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Sekthaus Raumland: Right before Christmas we have an amazing reason to already let our corks pop. We are overwhelmed and raise our glasses: we are proudly announcing that as of today, Sekthaus Raumland can call itself member of the VDP (Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter) that unites the 197 best wineries in Germany. Over the past 30 years, we followed a philosophy of highest standards, quality and passion for German Sekt to bring German Sekt back to the qualitative spearhead in national as well as international sparkling winemaking. By accepting Sekthaus Raumland as the first ever ‚sparkling-only’ winery, VDP is setting a clear statement!

A big THANK YOU to all VDP and its members for the warm welcome as well as to our loyal employees, our partners and friends who have accompanied us during this “sparkling road” until today.

Picture: The Raumland Family (Photo: VDP)

Tasting at Sekthaus Raumland in Flörsheim-Dalsheim, Rheinhessen, with Heide-Rose and Volker Raumland - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

We visited Sekthaus Raumland during the Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours.

Pictures: Tasting at Sekthaus Raumland with Heide-Rose and Volker Raumland

With the visit of Sekthaus Raumland in Flörsheim-Dalsheim, Rheinhessen, we honored the Germans' affinity with the bubbly stuff. Did you know that the Germans are world champions in sparkling wine consumption? And that “Rotkäppchen” in Freyburg, in the Saale-Unstrut region is the world’s second largest sparkling wine producer after Freixenet? And that there are many top rated Sekt producers in Germany?

Heide-Rose and Volker Raumland were our hosts.

Pictures: At Sekthaus Raumland

Sekthaus Raumland

Sekthaus Raumland was founded in 1984 by Volker and Heide-Rose Raumland, after Volker Raumland had finished his oenologie studies at the University of Geisenheim. Initially, Sekthaus Raumland was mostly making Sekt for other German wineries, but right from the beginning only in the méthode traditionnelle.

Picture: Welcome

The top product of the Raumland portfolio is called Triumvirat. It is a cuvée from the single vineyard Dalsheimer Bürgel, which extends just west of the center of Dalsheim. It is made up of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.

Heide-Rose Raumland is from Weingut Wöhrwag in Stuttgart. Her brother Hans-Peter studied togather Volker Raumland in Geisenheim. They have 2 daughters, Marie-Luise and Katharina.

Picture: Heide-Rose and Volker Raumland with their 2 Daughters Marie-Luise and Katharina


Today Sekthaus Raumlan has 10 hectares of vineyards in the Flörsheim-Dalsheim area and produces Sekt in the méthode traditionnelle on par with the quality of the best Champagnes. His philosophy: no mass production, top quality, “small but beautiful”, first class base wines, at least 36 months on the lease. Since 2002 his wine and Sekt estate is certified “AB” for biological agriculture.

Raumland grows his fruit in three different vineyards:

(1) Dalsheim, Rheinhessen with 4.1 ha which is also home base for the estate. These vineyards are planted to Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay;

(2) Hohen-Sülzen, Rheinhessen with 1.5 ha planted 100% to Pinot Noir and

(3) Bockenheim, Pfalz with 4.0 ha located 5km to the south of Dalsheim which is also Volker’s hometown. Riesling from these vineyards is used for Sekt whereas miscellaneous red wine varieties are vinified as still wine.

How Volker Raumland Makes his Sekts

(1) Very careful and painstaking hand selection. The grapes are placed in small 15 kg boxes to assure that none of the fruit is scarred or damaged. Grapes are picked at 75 to 80 Oechlse, the optimum must weight for sparkling wine.

(2) Whole cluster pressing to preserve fruit aromas, no maceration, no mashing and no pumping of the juice.

(3) The “Champagne press program” with a duration of four hours, involves careful segmentation of the juice. The separation involves the first run (5%), the middle run or “heart” (50%) and the last run or taille (10%). To control phenolics the press is stopped after the last run. These figures coincide with champagne where 67% of the juice is used. First run and last run juices are used for the basic Sekts such as Cuvée Marie - Luise and Cuvée Katharina (named after the Raumland’s daughters) as are lower quality portions of the middle run. The better part of the middle run is used for the Prestige varietal Cuvées and the very best for the Grand Cuvee Triumvirat.

(4) The exception to the above is using the Saignée process by bleeding off prefermentation juice to make the Rose Prestige Cuvee (10% Pinot Noir) gathering juice for the Rose Prestige Cuvee (100% Pinot Noir).

(5) The time laps between harvest and the start of fermentation is a maximum of three days. Because of the earlier harvest for champagne grapes, fermentation starts already in September and often goes past November. The Pinot varietals and Chardonnay also go through a malolactic fermentation which lasts anywhere from two to six weeks depending on the PH of the wine ( high PH- fast malolactic, low PH- slow malolactic).

(6) After completion of the fermentation the wine is left on the fine yeast for maximum benefit. The wines are filtered and cold stabilized before Tirage. Tirage involves adding .24 gm/l of sugar and cultured Champagne yeast (sourced from Epernay in Champagne) and capping the bottles with a crown cork. This then starts yet another fermentation capturing CO2 which develops a pressure of six bars in the bottle. They are stored horizontally for maximum yeast contact for a minimum of 12 months to 12 years, depending on the quality of the Sekt.

(7) Four weeks before the Sekt is finished the bottles are hand riddled. After disgorgement a 1.0% dosage of a high quality wine is added to the prestige cuvees and 1/2% dosage to the Tête de Cuvee Triumvirat. The best quality dosage goes to the highest quality Sekt.

(8) The Sekts are stored in a four stories deep cellar to achieve optimum ripeness and “pin point” mousse. The Sekts are continuously monitored and tasted to assure optimum quality. All Sekts, including older vintages are freshly disgorged before they leave the estate.

Pictures: Heide-Rose and Volker Raumland

Sekt in Germany

Germany is one of the largest sparkling wine markets in the world, which is not well know around the world. Germans drink lot of sparkling wines, although in general less quality-conscious than the French. One out of four bottles of sparkling wine is consumed in Germany, roughly 500 million bottles. Sekt is made in all German wine regions, both in the méthode traditionnelle and charmat method. There are three groups of Sekt makers: (i) large and (ii) smaller Sekt houses, who only make Sekt and (iii) winemakers, who make predominantly wine, but complement their wine selection by a few Sekts. The Sekts produced by large Sekt estates tend to be in the demy-sweet and sweet range, while the Sekts of smaller estates and the wine makers are mostly in the brut and extra brut range.

There is a dozen or so large Sekt houses. Most of these large Sekt houses were established in the 1800s. At that time, there was only one method known to produce Sekt, the méthode traditionnelle. But in contrast to the champagne houses, the large Sekt houses have all moved to the charmat method as main method of the second fermentation after World War II. Like the champagne houses, Sekt houses do not own vineyards, but purchase the base wine from winemakers.

The smaller Sekt houses, like the large Sekt houses, do not own vineyards, but also buy the base wine from winemakers. They also tend to have a long history and often links to the champagne region, beautiful facilities and old cellars for the second fermentation and storage. The big difference is that they typically have not gone the route of tank fermentation but continue to ferment in the méthode traditionnelle.

Increasingly, there is a number of top quality winemakers, who, in addition, to their still wines, have started to include Sekts in their portfolio. These Sekts are typically vintage Sekts, from a specified vineyard, made of specific grapes, often Riesling, in the méthode champenoise and with little or not dosage (brut or extra but). While the first fermentation typically takes place at the winery, the second fermentation is often not in the cellar of the winemaker but in the cellar of a Sekt house that bottle-ferments for other wineries.

Raumland belongs to the third group but is kind of unique in Germany. Raumland makes a bit of still wine but is clearly focusing on his world class Sekts. The Raumland Sekts are like Champagnes, without copying them, feels the Eichelmann 2010.

Pictures: Heide-Rose Raumland

Raumland in the US: Rudi Wiest Selections

In the US, Raumland is available through Rudi Wiest Selections.

Rudi Wiest: Simply the finest sparkling wine producer in Germany. Founded in 1990 by Volker Raumland whose heart and soul is invested in making great Sekt. Every year, year in year out Volker produces 3 to 5 of the top 10 sparkling wines in Germany according to the Gault-Millau/German Wine Guide. His basic cuvees carry the names of his daughters – Cuvee Marie-Louise (100% Pinot Noir) – benchmark of refinement and purity, Cuvee Katherina Blanc de Noir (Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) more power, more structure, dense and creamy with a touch of oak. The above Sekts rival and easily surpass NV Champagnes and offer better pricing. His top selections are sensational sparkling wines that keep pace with the best Tête de Cuvees in Champagne. The estate uses organic vineyard practices. Production is 7,000 cases annually.

Pictures: Tasting at Sekthaus Raumland with Heide-Rose and Volker Raumland

Jamie Goode and Treve Ring Explore Sekt, Germany's Sparkling Wine - Raumland

Jamie Goode and Treve Ring: Raumland focuses solely on traditional method sparkling wine. It seems that the best Sekt producers are the ones who just do fizz, because it requires a particular way of thinking.

Whereas some Sekt producers are looking to make fruity sparkling wines that express that side of Riesling, Raumland is looking to make something more complex, and more akin to vintage Champagne. He has planted mainly Pinot Noir, along with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, though also works with Riesling and Pinot Blanc. ‘I hate primary fruit in sparkling,’ says Raumland, ‘and I love the toast and bread notes from long ageing on the lees.’ His wines have a minimum 3 years on the lees for first tier. Prestige is minimum 6 years on the lees, while his vintage level is 10 years on the lees or more. He adds, ‘We are a young company but we are still very traditional.’ Raumland is critically considered to be one of the top quality Sekt producers in Germany.

What we Tasted


NV Raumland Riesling Brut
NV Raumland Cuvée Marie-Louise Brut

Wine Curmudgeon (Posted 14 Sep 2015): German sparkling wine made in the traditional Champagne style? How much wine geekier does it get? Not much, but the Raumland Marie-Luise is well worth the trouble to find and the price you will pay.

The amazing thing about the Raumland Marie-Luise ($40, sample, 12%) is not that it’s well made, but that it’s such a value, even at $40. I’ve tasted Champagne (before the boycott) at that price and even $20 more that wasn’t as pleasurable to drink — mass market plonk at high-end prices. The Raumland is made with pinot noir, astonishing in itself given the rarity and inconsistency of German pinot, but even more so given the wine’s subtlety and style. This is not an oaky, yeasty sparkling bomb, but a wine with fine, tight bubbles, hints of berry fruit, an almost spice-like aroma, and bone dry.

Highly recommended, though it may be difficult to find. If you can, serve it on its own (chilled, of course) or with seafood and chicken. We had it with a shrimp boil during the infamous wine samples dinner, and the Raumland was gone in minutes. This is also a fine gift for any open-minded sparkling wine drinker.

NV Raumland Cuvée Katharina Brut

Jamie Goode: Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier with some oak in the base wine fermentation. Very pure, direct nose. Lovely pear and apple fruit character here with a touch of toastiness. Some warm herbal notes. Ripe and fruity with a bit of toasty development. Nice fruit expression.

Treve Ring: Salty, with fine earth, savoury biscuit and cherry notes hallmarking this Pinot Noir/Pinot Meunier blend. Cherry and pear dominate, and a fine line of acid holds the whole taught to the toasty finish. Lovely balance. Disgorged march 2016. 89/100


2012 Raumland Rosé Prestige Brut
2010 Raumland Pinot Prestige Brut
2008 Raumland Riesling Prestige Brut

Jamie Goode: The malolactic stopped half-way, so we have 10.2 g of acid and 6 g of residual sugar here. Single vineyard in Pfalz. Limestone soils. Linear, pure and tight with astonishing acidity. Subtle waxy hints indicate the age of the wine, with a hint of cheese and toast, but the driving force is piercing lemony fruit. Tangy and bright with some ripe apple notes, too. So distinctive. 91/100

2009 Raumland Blanc de Blanc Prestige Brut
2011 Raumland Chardonnay Prestige Brut

2009 Raumland IX Triumvirat - Grande Cuvée Brut

Jamie Goode: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, first made in 2001. Less than 3 g/l sugar and acidity around 7. 6 years on lees, 6 months on cork. Some of the wine is fermented in barrels, mostly barriques, but also some 350 litre barrels. Lively, powerful, pithy and a bit waxy with very bold citrus and pear notes, as well as honey and almond notes. Very linear with good acidity. Has real precision and depth with some red cherry and pear on the finish. 91/100

Treve Ring: The Triumvirat Grand Cuvee is a brut blend of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier, and a premium bottling from Raumland. Light smoke, light biscuit and fennel is broken by crunchy acidity and large flake sea salt. The palate leads with lox and toasty spice before introducing light cherry and red pear, finishing with a raspy, almost assertive acidity. Fermented in barriques and barrels before more than 7 years on the lees, this could pass for a decent supermarket-bottled Champagne in a blind tasting. 91/100


Thank you very much Heide-Rose and Volker Raumland for a most enjoyable tasting of your world class sparklers.

Pictures: Annette Schiller with Heide-Rose and Volker Raumland

schiller-wine: Related Postings

UPCOMING Tours/ Wine Dinners/ Tastings - Annette and Christian Schiller/ ombiasyPR & WineTours/ schiller-wine, Germany, France, USA (Issued: November 1, 2019)

Announcement: Upcoming ombiasy Wine Tours 2020 - (1) Alsace and Germany South, (2) Rhône Valley, (3) Bordeaux

Annual Riesling Party at the Schiller Residence in Washington DC, USA (2019)

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