Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wild Hog Vineyards

Once in a while, you come across a winery that is beyond comparison. A winery that sows their own path and is unique in every sense of the word. I've represented Wild Hog for a number of years. Each wine they make is singular. Specializing, but not limited to Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Italian Varietals. Each vintage is a completely unique experience.

Daniel and Marion Schoenfeld began making wine in 1977. Located in the "true" Sonoma Coast, barely 5 miles from the Ocean, but above the Fog Line. Theirs is less a vineyard than a working farm. Providing year round vegetables for their table, the Schoenfeld's do everything they can to live sustainably. Their farm and vineyard was certified organic 30 years ago. All of the buzz words we use today to describe artisan wine is the only method they've known. No filtration, handmade, clean wines is all they do. Each vintage acts differently, Daniel encourages this expression.

He loves dense, robust, and fascinating wines. Each is rich, but with tremendous structure and acidity. Most importantly, each wine is it's own journey. A wise winemaker once told me the secrets to secondary flavors in dense wines-ripeness and hands off winemaking. Having exactly zero winemaking experience, I took him at his word, and Wild Hog's wines certainly seem to affirm this theory. While the wines have pretty fruit, it's the secondary flavors and aromas that make these wines so unique and special. Many of the wines have herbs and flowers on the nose, but also the unmistakeable nose of the outdoors. Maybe it's the power of suggestion, but I feel like I get the reflection of the land in the wines, just as you hear the sound of the ocean in a shell. I hope it's true, because that would certainly seem to be Daniel's loftiest goal, to purely reflect the land.

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