MAISON PIERRE SPARR & SUCCESSEURS- ALSACE
The History: “Over 300 years of making a difference”
Located in the heart of the Alsace vineyards, in Sigolsheim, Northwest of Colmar, Pierre Sparr owns 34 hectares (75 acres), including 3 outstanding Grands Crus vineyards. Grapes are also purchased from an additional 150 hectares (330 acres), under a strict quality control contracts with growers.
The origins of Pierre Sparr winery dates back to 1680, when Jean Sparr was born. Under the influence of François-Pierre, in 1785, vineyard holdings were established and flourished. A century later, in 1861, Charles Sparr developed the wine & grapes trade activity and also bottled the entire production at the domain. His son Pierre, born in 1900, took over at the age of 20. His innate sense of business made him a precursor for the concept of “estate bottling” of Alsace Wines. His motto could be summed up by: “Invest, improve & hold tight”
In 1945, Sigolsheim and the surrounding vineyards were completely destroyed. With courage and fortitude, Pierre Sparr rebuilt the winery and the vineyards to become one of the most respected and prestigious Estate in Alsace.
Since 1951, Pierre’s two sons, René & Charles, have made a tremendous contribution by expanding vineyard holdings and buying Grand Cru sites. They also extended exports to 18 countries throughout Europe.
From 1987 until 2009, the 9th generation was poised to continue the winegrowing legacy with Pierre Jr., the wine maker, and Bernard the marketing & sales director. Together, they have taken the family’s company to the next level, by building up a worldwide brand, among elite, premium wines.
Following a dreadful & silly family feud, in July 2009 the company was sold to the Beblenheim group: 5th largest winery in Alsace. Since then, the winery’s name has changed to “Maison Pierre Sparr & Successeurs”. Although, Bernard Sparr remains the “Brand Ambassador” in North America.
An impressive “KNOW HOW”
Although the Sparr generations & the new management Team have made a strong commitment through their dedication for high quality and consistency. It’s summed up by Bernard Sparr’s comment: “We have never been too big to do the little things brilliantly”.
Driving emotion has been completely dedicated to a philosophy: of passion preceding profit. Their policy is based upon a very strong commitment to quality, which includes a strict control throughout the entire process, from vines to wine. Since 1996 an official “Quality Chart” has been signed by most of our growers, which undoubtedly optimizes the quality of the fruit and therefore our wines.
Vines and Terroir: “The Soul of Inimitable Wines !”
Without question, a wine is born in the vineyard and mostly in its soil. With our “Quality Chart”, all our vineyards are grown exclusively by sustainable viticulture (environment friendly methods).
For years, our Estate has been driven by improving quality; searching for the magical combination of elements, including soil, climate and the aspect of the vineyard. in France, Terroir, is a concept which recognises each vineyard has its own unique set of attributes. Alsace has been blessed by offering a mosaic of Terroir combined with an ideal micro- climate. This enable our meticulous winemaker to optimize the soils potential.
The Harvest: “Seduce the Grapes”
Usually, the harvest begins mid September with the grapes used to make sparkling wines. For these wines we seek a higher level of acidity and lower natural sugar. Starting early October, we carefully hand pick grapes destined for still wines. The viticulturist Team, spends most of their time controlling and monitoring the ripeness, natural acidity of the grapes before deciding on the precise date of harvest.
Time and patience along with optimal weather conditions are two ingredients needed to harvest healthy and ripe grapes. A drastic selection of the grapes according to each grape variety is required by all our winegrowers. The harvest can last until mid November when the over ripe berries are individually selected for what will become a wine of nectar: the Noble Rot Selection, or “Sélection de Grains Nobles” (SGN).
Winemaking: “To Optimise Varietal Expression”
Currently Alexandra Boudrot is the talented & passionate winemaker. resumes her philosophy: “…my winemaking techniques help to produce well balanced wines, between alcohol, acidity, crispness and residual sugar. Acidity is the main factor, because it represents the backbone in my wines and give them often an outstanding potential to age. But my goal is always to preserve intricate layers of flavours, and highlight the grape’s identity…the intensely pure varietal character of our estate grown fruit.”
The Ageing Process: “Polish Up the Wine”
Most of our wines are aged during 7 to 9 months on thin lees in stainless steel tanks. During spring, when the cellars start slightly to warm up, the wines enter in their final stage and are stabilized, but also adding a final touch to their personality. The last stage will be a smooth filtration, which takes place prior to bottling.
The Tasting: “The final control”
To ensure, the required quality level, our winemaker’s team goes through several tastings, to finalize precisely the consistency of each wine, prior to bottling.
Map of the region