A peek at the 2011 harvest, still in the vineyard.
Yes, we really make traditional method sparkling wine in Illinois. And believe it or not, it's all made from Illinois-grown grapes. We wouldn't have it any other way. Here's why:
Not surprisingly, Illinois provides a cooler growing climate for fruit. Some types of grapes do terribly in cooler environments, while some do very well. Generally, grapes that have higher acidity levels tend to thrive in cool climates. In recent years, certain types of French hybrid grapes have proven to do exceptionally well in Illinois - especially those with a higher acidity.
Acidity is very important in winemaking - it is one of the building blocks of a wine. In white wines and red wines low in tannins, it is the most important structural element. In sparkling wines of any kind, grape quality and acidity are absolutely key to making a fantastic bottle.
Put It All Together...
So we've got fantastic growing conditions for grapes that make exceptional sparkling wines. Then add in a winemaker with the chops, vision, and just the right amount of crazy to create a top-tier sparkling wine house in the mid-west, and, well, there you have Illinois Sparkling Co.