Name: Christian Sparkman
Location: Woodinville, WA
Winery: Sparkman Cellars
1. Who or what inspired you to become a winemaker? The birth of our first child, Stella Mae, inspired us to create a family business and an environment of family focused life. It’s worked out nicely.
2. If you weren’t working with wine what do you think you’d be doing instead? Either running restaurants or pursuing a doctorate in environmental anthropology, or both.
3. What current wine trend do you particularly like (or dislike)? I like that the world is waking up to the tremendous quality and potential of Washington wine. I like the fact that consumers are trying all kinds of stuff. I like the notion that oak is being used (in many places) more judiciously. The more our consumers develop their palates, the better our wine has to be. That is a good thing.
4. What is your go-to wine (varietal, region) – other than Washington, of course! My wife Kelly and I like to explore interesting whites from everywhere – Austria, New Zealand, Spain, South Africa. Burgundy is sorta my deserted island region.
5. What advice can you offer to a first time wine drinker? Don’t listen to “experts”. Listen to your tongue. Try everything. Keep going. You will change and change again what you prefer.
6. If you could make wine with any winemaker in the world, who would it be? Maybe one of the great Burgundians – De Montille or Dujac. I would love to learn the magic of Champagne, and really dig the grower producers like Gaston Chiquet and Pierre Peters.
7. What do you like to do when you are not making wine? College Football is my last vice. I am a Tennessee Volunteers addict, even though it’s tough right now in Knoxville.
8.What charitable organization pulls at your heartstrings? We donate to the Wilderness Society through our Wilderness label. Kelly and I believe in setting an example for Stella and Ruby as far as environmental stewardship goes. We think would like to start a foundation of our own one day. A good friend, Monty Montoya, runs SightLife, an organization in Seattle that has a plan to eliminate corneal blindness worldwide by 2025. That’s crazy stuff.
Meet Christian Sparkman at the upcoming Auction of Washington Wines 25th anniversary celebration, August 16-18.
Visit www.auctionofwashingtonwines.com for more information.