Wildlife is abundant in the Illinois Sparkling Co. vineyards along the Illinois River.
There's a very basic rule for the outdoorsy-types when camping, and it's pretty simple: Always leave your campsite in better shape than when you found it.
At its core, Sustainability is the Campsite Rule. It's taking responsibility, not just for our immediate surroundings, but for everything our business touches. We work to care for and improve the land that supports our vineyards, we strive to reduce waste at the winery, and we try to improve the lives of the folks who work for us.
Being sustainable means planting native grasses to prevent erosion and hand-hoeing so we never have to use herbicides. It means pruning, thinning and harvesting is all done by hand to reduce carbon emissions from mechanical equipment.
In the winery, it means analyzing our own practices in the winery and finding ways to reduce our footprint on the environment without compromising on quality. We've dug caves to keep our wines at a year-round constant temperature instead of using refrigeration, and we use eco-friendly kraft boxes and recyclable plastic packing instead of styrofoam. We repurpose used corks by giving them to local artists to use in their creations.
Being sustainable means a lot of work, but it's very important to who we are and what we believe in. It's also a big part of why our wines are so exceptional. If we don't say so ourselves.