Illinois Sparkling Co. is an independent craft winery obsessed with making exceptional sparkling wine using the traditional method. What is “traditional method?” It’s the most hands-on, labor intensive, old–fashioned, all-natural, way to make sparkling wine. It’s the way they’ve done it in France for centuries and it happens to be the only way to make the BEST sparkling wine. Period. So that’s the way we do it at Illinois Sparkling Co. We know that all the effort, skill, and craftsmanship that goes into the process results in something truly extraordinary and unique in every bottle. And we think it’s worth it.
Years ago, Mark & Teri Wenzel, owners of August Hill Winery, became fascinated with Champagnes and Sparkling Wines. When Mark, the winemaker for August Hill, realized that Illinois was a region primed to produce world-class sparkling wine grapes, he dove headfirst into sparkling experimentation. The grapes used in our sparkling wines are 100% Illinois grown, and each wine is handcrafted at our winery in Peru, Illinois. Mark oversees this entire intense process – from partnering with the very best growers in Illinois, to meticulously blending and tasting (and tasting, and tasting) our cuvees until he is perfectly satisfied.
2016 Featured Wines
Traditional Method Sparkling Wines
- ISC Brut (Brut) – Our signature Brut is crisp and clean with a straw yellow color. We like to think of the ISC Brut as our workhorse. Our classy workhorse. Sip it straight or with dessert.
Try it if you like: Belgian Ales, Citrus, or An Excuse to Toast
- ISC Franken’s (Brut) – Franken’s is our ode to the French-hybrid grapes that make up our wines, our own “frankenvines.” Hints of raspberries and a bracing acidity make this a versatile wine for pairing. Here’s to life’s little oddballs!
Try it if you like: Framboise Lambic, Rare Finds, Roasted Chicken or Turkey
- ISC Heirloom (Brut Rosé) – A sparkling dry rosé that pays homage to the old-school techniques used to make it, Heirloom has the weight of a dry red, so don’t be shy – pair it with dinner or someone you love. Or both.
Try it if you like: Red Wine, Biscuits (seriously), Strawberries
- ISC Dollface (Demi-Sec Rosé) – Much like the ladies of the ‘30s and ‘40s, Dollface has some serious depth behind that pretty face. Under the cherry red color and taste of fruit lies an unexpected blend of baker’s chocolate, orange peel and cinnamon.
Try it if you like: Surprises, Pencil Skirts, Chocolate-Covered Fruit
- Blend 786 (Extra Dry) – Inspired by the launch of the submarine USS Illinois and named after her ship number, this extra dry blend highlights notes of honey and green apple along with plenty of Prairie State pride. For each bottle sold, $5 is donated to the USS Illinois commissioning committee, who provides support for submarine crew members in times of need.
Noteworthy: Blend 786 is the sparkling wine used to christen the USS Illinois submarine in October 2015 by First Lady Michelle Obama. This bubbly is also going to be served at two key celebrations during the USS ILLINOIS (SSN 786) commissioning that is taking place on October 29, 2016.