Rotkäppchen Sektkellerei – 150 years of sparkling wine history with cuveé barrel
The sparkling wine with the red top is a trademark for Germany: Rotkäppchen Sektkellerei
The brothers Moritz and Julius Kloss founded together with their friend Carl Foerster the wine shop Kloss & Foerster in Freyburg at the Unstrut on September26, 1856.
The first 6000 bottles were filled in a flat in the back of the family Kloss building – the first bottle of sparkling wine was opened on the occasion of the wedding of Julius Kloss with his fiancée Emma Gabler on June17, 1858. The company was extremely successful – 10 years later, in 1867, the Freyburg wine-growers were not able to deliver the needed amount of grapes, they had to buy some from Württemberg and Baden. In 1870 120,000 bottles were produced.
In 1894 a French Champagne company had a lawsuit with Kloss & Foerster because of the name ´Monopol´ - the term for the most successful sparkling wine. The French company won and from this time on Kloss & Foerster named their sparkling wine after the red top, the birthday of the brand Rotkäppchen (´Red Riding Hood´), and registered it as trade mark on July15, 1895. After World War II family Kloss was dispossessed in July 1948, the Sektkellerei was continued as Volkseigener Betrieb Rotkäppchen-Sektkellerei Freyburg/Unstrut. In 1988 15 million bottles were filled.
After the political change in Germany Rotkäppchen was in danger – in the second half of 1990 only 1.8 million bottles were sold. The Sektkellerei was now working under a trust company, till in 1993 some leading workers risked the step into a Management Buy Out with the help of family Harald Eckes-Chantré. Courage and engagement paid off in the following years: now Rotkäppchen belongs to the biggest sparkling wine producers again and from 2002 onwards brands like Mumm and Chantré could be taken over.
The architecture of the Sektkellerei reflects its history till today: The buildings in Sektkellereistraße 5 are an industrial monument of outstanding status. The Lichthof, built in 1893, which is about 1,000 sq m big and has got a self-supporting glass roof, is especially impressive and even today an architectural sensation. The cellars are also worth seeing: in 1887 building was started, the cellars reach five floors down into the stone and are 13,000 sq m big. In the Domkeller, built in 1896, stands the showpiece of the building: Germany`s biggest wooden carved cuvée barrel. The giant barrel was built by cooper Georg Feldmann out of the wood of 25 oaks in 1896. From that year on 120,000 litres of wine could be mixed at the same time and these were filled in 160,000 bottles of one kind of sparkling wine.
With over 100,000 visitors per year the Sektkellerei is a very popular sight.