After our trip to Gundlach Bundschu, we visited Schug Winery. Schug was founded by Walter Schug and his wife Gertrud in the 1970s. Both of them grew up in Germany with fathers who managed wine estates, and Walter learned the trade at several wineries in Germany, England and California. Once they moved to the United States, Walter worked at the winemaker for Joseph Phelps Vineyards in the 1970s before starting his own winery.
Schug is located just outside of the town of Sonoma. They produce about 40,000 cases annually but you wouldn’t know it from their tasting room – it is tiny little space! I was a bit surprised by that, but we were greeted warmly by the server there and guided through the line-up.
Their Rouge de Noirs sparkling wine is where it is at. It is a great sparkler with light bubbles, and a fruity, effervescence. It is made from 100% Ricci Vineyard Pinot Noir, fermented with the skins for 3 days and then a bleeding off of the juice with no pressing.
The Carneros Pinot Noir was very good too – it is their flagship wine with more than 5,000 cases produced. To be honest, I did like the Estate Pinot better, but not enough to justify the extra $12 in price. Their Sauvignon Blanc was not on the tasting menu, but our server let me have a taste and it was a delicious acidic Sauvignon Blanc with flavors of grapefruit and honey.
We went home with the Sauvignon Blanc, the Carneros Pinot Noir and the Rouge de Noirs – but I would be happy drinking anything that we tried that day!