Producer: Daniel & Marion Schoenfeld
Region: California - Sonoma Coast
Farming: Organic, Vegan
Seated at the headwaters of Wild Hog Creek in the wilds of the Sonoma coast, Wild Hog Vineyard is a 110 acre family owned and operated farm, winery, and vineyard in the hills between Cazadero and Fort Ross. Owners Daniel and Marion Schoenfeld specialize in organically farmed and vinified Pinot Noir and Zinfandel (estate bottlings.) They do also make a 100% Carignane, which they source from Dry Creek Valley as well as Petite Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet.
Daniel began making wine in 1977 out of a passion for fresh food and fine wine and of sharing those experiences with friends and family. They opened their entirely solar- and hydro powered winery in 1990 and effectively became some of the first ‘minimalist’ winemakers to emerge in the American wine scene. These modern day pioneers venerated a return to the old ways, keeping harvests small, steering clear of synthetic chemicals, and eking out the pure sapidity of flavor and balance that’s entirely possible, yet uncommon, in California wine.
Wild Hog is dedicated to farming their 5 acres of vine without the use of chemical additives, insecticides, or herbicides and have been certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers since 1981. A permanent cover crop of clovers and grasses is grown between the rows to hold and feed the soil and provide an environment for beneficial insects. Due to the excellent health of the vines, they have no significant insect problems. A CCOF approved micronized wetable sulfur is used to control powdery mildew in the vineyard. Drip irrigation is used on young vines, but once established, vines are dry farmed.
Thing is, unlike other early California wineries that went on to much notoriety, Wild Hog kept a remarkably low profile. Disinterested in jumping on the ‘full-fruit’ bandwagon of their contemporaries as years progressed, Daniel and Marion remained faithful to their bearing, continuing to produce what has come to be known by some as “90’s-style wine.” Their goal was one of simplicity and sincerity: to create honest wines to be enjoyed by people who appreciate them. You will see no robust, jammy flavors and skyrocketing price tags here; instead, what you find are balanced, limpid, food-friendly wines of excellent concentration at modest cost – which is in perfect harmony with the Shiverick book overall.