Here at Pierre Sparr winery, when we start to press the grapes, we cover the juice with a neutral gas for 10 months to protect it against oxidation. We blend the wines, followed by a battonage every week [stirring the lees], resulting in a very large wine, very rich, but not sweet; the style has to be clear, clean, crisp and very aromatic.
Alsace is the driest region in France because the clouds are blocked by the Vosges Mountains. The region is characterized by a very stony soil. The best way to explain the wines from Alsace is by the aromatic profile.
We have an interesting blend of dry Muscat, dry Riesling, and dry Pinot Gris called “The One.” People ask me where I got the name and I reply “because I think it’s better than the number two and number three.” It is a very crisp and aromatic wine.
Another iconic wine of ours is the Riesling. Most people think that Riesling is a sweet wine, but it isn’t always true. There are dry Rieslings, and ours happens to be very dry. For Pierre Sparr, “dry” does not mean acidic, and “fruity” does not mean sweet. Our focus is on dry and fruity wines.
Our Gewurztraminer is very floral with rose petals. People are impressed when they find out it is totally natural; we don’t add any aromas. It is all in the nature of the type of grape, the climate and the soil.
Our sparkling wines have been very successful: Brut Rosé and Crémant Brut Reserve. In France (except for Champagne), it is forbidden to blend red and white wines together, so our Brut Rosé is 100 percent Pinot Noir, rare in the market, and made by saignee.
There are 51 grand crus in Alsace, France. It is the best place to find the expression of your terroir. You can have 40 different Riesling grand crus and they are all different because their soils are not the same. Pierre Sparr’s Schoenenbourg Grand Cru Riesling comes from a small parcel on the top of a hill bordering the forest.
The Mambourg Grand Cru is located on a hill just behind the winery and has an iconic link to American history. On top of the Mambourg hill a necropolis was built to commemorate the battle of Sigolsheim, France at the end of WWII.
We want to make food-friendly, aromatic wines that are easy to understand and drink, but rich and powerful.