FAQ Champagne – Sparkling wine

The most common questions we get asked about the topic sparkling wine

What is the valid state tax for sparkling wine?

The German valid state tax, which is 1,02€ per bottle, is a relic of the year 1902. Introduced by Emperor Wilhelm the II., it had the purpose to finance the war fleet.

The war fleet doesn’t exist anymore, the valid state tax for sparkling wine was kept though.

Is everything that bubbles sparkling wine?

The generally used term of “sparkling wine” for everything that bubbles, is a common misconception. The European Wine law divides very precisely between sparkling- and pearl wine. According to EU regulation pearl wine needs to have a minimum pressure of at least 1.0 and at the most 2.5 bar to get carbonated and it has an alcohol content of at least 7%. The way the carbonic acid gets put into the bottle is not restricted, usually it is done in a pressure tank. These wines are called pearl wine.

According to EU Definition wine that’s been carbonated with pressure from 3.0 bar up is called sparkling wine and the valid state tax becomes due. If the label only says “sparkling wine” instead of “sparkling wine with added carbonic acid” the carbonic acid has to be the result of a second fermentation.


When do we talk about “sparkling wine”?

At a minimum storage period of 9 months, an alcohol content of at least 10% and a pressure of 3 bar, the expression “sparkling wine” is the only synonym for “quality sparkling wine” that is allowed.

The carbonic acid has to occur by a second fermentation. Hence any random bubbly wine certainly doesn’t mean to be a sparkling wine!

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