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.
In 1972, with his significant knowledge of northern California grapes, Walter was able to help Mr. Joseph Phelps build a new winery and vineyard operation. Together, they built the winery buildings, developed now famous vineyards, and created unique wines never before produced in the early years of California winemaking. The first Syrah in the United States and the much sought-after Insignia are just two of Walter’s winemaking achievements.
Schug Carneros Estate Winery has no available wines.
602 Bonneau Road,
Sonoma, CA, 95476
A native of Germany's Rhein River valley, Walter Schug was raised in Assmannshausen, on the region's only Pinot Noir estate. He marked his first harvest in 1953, apprenticing at all nine of the famed wine estates of Hessen, in the Rheingau region of Germany. By 1973, Walter's experience was sought out by Joseph Phelps to establish Joseph Phelps Vineyards in Napa Valley, and that year began his 10 vintages as Vice President and Winemaker for the new enterprise. Among Walter’s many contributions to the Napa Valley's newly emerging fame were:
A Northern California native, Winemaker Michael Cox grew up in Sonoma and spent time in both the Sonoma and Napa wine producing regions as a student. His local head start gave him an enviable background that most young winemakers find very difficult to achieve. As Winemaker, an important member of the Schug family team, Mike works closely with Winemaster Walter Schug and Sales & Marketing Director Axel Schug. Together their winemaking talents create the premium Carneros and Sonoma wines with the European flair that Schug is famous for.