Champagne, France, and Champaign, Illinois, couldn’t be more different.
Leave it to Midwest winemakers Mark and Teri Wenzel (Utica’s August Hill Winery) to bridge the gap.
Their new venture, Illinois Sparkling Co., introduces quality, small-batch sparklers without the snooty attitude. Their slogan says it all: Less Champagne, More Champaign.
Mark discovered Utica and Champagne share similar climates, producing grapes that are high in acid and low in tannins — ideal for producing the bubbly. Months later, Illinois Sparkling Co. was born.
ISC’s sips may lack true European roots, but quirky labels, cleverly named blends, and sheer deliciousness give them an edge. Choose between Dollface sweet sparkling rosé; Stereo, a golden, honey-citrus decoction; Franken’s, a berrylike brut; and Heirloom, a sparkling dry rosé reminiscent of biscuits.
You name it.
Photo: Courtesy of Illinois Sparkling Co.