Schug, Sonoma County & Carneros
"Great Pinot Noir is not defined by the density of its color, the intensity of its flavors, or even its ability to age. The first duty of great Pinot Noir is to prove a farmer right -- to express in its character that it derives from a well-placed vine. The Carneros region is one of the few places in the world where a Pinot Noir farmer can be proved absolutely right." Walter Schug
The Schug brand was founded in 1980, and from the beginning was based on producing Pinot Noir. Though he received worldwide recognition at Phelps for the Eisele Vineyard Cabernets, the groundbreaking “Insignia” Cabernet blend, acclaimed late harvest Rieslings and California’s first Syrah, Walter Schug also made Pinot Noir from the Heinemann Mountain Vineyard in Napa Valley. Having grown up on the German Pinot Noir estate of Assmannshausen where his father was the winemaker, Walter’s love of the grape came early on. When Phelps dropped Pinot Noir from the portfolio in 1980, Walter bought the grapes himself and started his own brand. Three years later he left Phelps to pursue his love of Pinot Noir.