La Salle County wine will christen U.S.S. Hyman G. Rickover

Wine made at Illinois Sparking Co. in Peru

Two bottles of Illinois Sparkling Co.’s Blend 795 produced in Peru were shipped to General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn., for the christening of the U.S.S. Hyman G. Rickover submarine.

The christening will take place on Saturday, July 31.

One bottle of Blend 795 will be broken over the sub during the christening ceremony, and one bottle will travel with the submarine throughout its service.

The submarine is named after Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, who was known as the “Father of the Nuclear Navy.” Rickover has a special connection to Illinois as he grew up in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood.

“We were very excited when General Dynamics asked us to be a part of this memorable celebration,” said Mark Wenzel, the winemaker. He and his wife Teri are owners of Illinois Sparkling Co.

Blend 795 is named after the ship number. It is a traditional method sparkling wine produced at Illinois Sparkling Co.’s Peru production facility.

Made from 100% Illinois-grown grapes, this crisp, brut-style sparkler has notes of lemon, brioche and hazelnut. Blend 795 sparkling wine is available for sale to the public at the August Hill Winery tasting room in Utica, as well as online at

For every bottle sold, $5 will be donated to the U.S.S. Hyman G. Rickover Commissioning Committee, which organizes events surrounding the launching and commissioning of the submarine and provides support for the submarine crew members and their families in times of need.

Illinois Sparkling Co. was previously honored to be a part of another special submarine christening.

In 2015, the U.S.S. Illinois was christened with a bottle of ISC Blend 786.

The christening can be watched live 1 p.m. Saturday at:

For more info on the U.S.S. Hyman G. Rickover, Admiral Rickover and the commissioning committee, go to USSRICKOVER.ORG/.