Wild Hog (Cazadero/Sonoma Coast)

Daniel Schoenfeld headed for the hills in the 1970s, looking for a simpler life. Finding him in the hills on the Sonoma Coast was tricky. When we first visited almost a decade ago, he faxed us the directions from the nearest (already remote) road taking us through forests and fording streams. On our most recent visit, he emailed the directions and it wasn’t any easier. Despite being around 10 miles as the crow flies from Jenner (population 136), it takes an hour to get to his hideout winery, including 40 minutes cross-country. Daniel and his wife Marion have transformed the rugged mountain property into a beautiful lush garden resplendent with vineyard, orchard, vegetable beds, and fragrant flowers. Having made some wine in demi-johns in his college dorm he had another go when they got to the woods. Friends then encouraged him to sell some…the rest is history. Over the years Daniel has experimented with a wide range of varietals, including small lots of Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Sangiovese and Montepulciano. He has recently been trimming the range to what he is best known for – distinctive organic Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. Why Wild Hog? Because the countryside is thick with wild hogs.