Schug Carneros Estate Winery is a family operation with a long winemaking history. Both Walter and Gertrud Schug’s respective fathers managed wine estates in Germany. Walter first met Gertrud, his then wife-to-be, while working as administrative assistant near her father’s estate, the Weingut Annaberg. Their strong love for each other survived the six years that Walter spent training at various wineries in Germany, England and California- even while he completed his diploma in Viticulture & Enology at Geisenheim, Germany. In 1960, after a year apart, Walter crossed the Atlantic, went straight to Gertrud and asked her to marry him. Their wedding took place in March 1961; less than a month later they packed their bags and took a boat to New York. The newlyweds crossed America in their Volkswagen Beetle complete with skis on the back and custom-made luggage to fit every corner of the car. Finally, they reached California and thus began many years of dedicated work in the very young California wine industry. Following five years of Assistant superintendent at a large bulk wine producer in Delano, California, Walter was hired in 1966 by the E & J Gallo winery. The family of five settled in St. Helena, Napa Valley where Walter was responsible for Quality Control and Grower Relations of Gallo’s interests in Northern California. Walter’s territory reached from Napa, Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino Counties where he gained tremendous knowledge of Northern California’s wine quality potential. Schug is now run by the next generation of the family with Walter’s son, Axel running the winery.
It’s rare to find a California bubbly this red in color. It’s pretty much as dark in color as a red wine, with a full body and a raspberry pie flavor. The palate is a little bit scouring and sweet. Unusually full-bodied for a sparkling wine, but very fine.