Mike Cox, Winemaker, Schug Winery

The Carneros region is as authentic as those who live and work here. The Carneros Wine Alliance has created “The Voices of Carneros” to allow locals to share their insight and knowledge of Carneros, including secret spots in the region. “The Voices of Carneros” is published regularly on the alliance website and across all social media outlets.

Mike Cox, Winemaker, Schug Winery


Mike Cox, Winemaker, Schug Winery


My first contact with Carneros fruit was Sangiacomo Chardonnay in the 1988 harvest as an intern at the then family owned Hacienda Winery. A Sonoma native, I came back in 1995 to join the Schug family in crafting Carneros focused pinot noir and chardonnay and have never left!

My Carneros:

I am fortunate to work with a range of vineyards, from our own Schug Estate here on the western edge, down to Wildcat Mountain and all the way over to Iund Vineyard on the eastern border. I love the freshness and acidity of the Chardonnay we can grow here and the spiciness of the Pinot Noir.

Fun Fact:

I have a known weakness for brown liquor. Specifically Bourbon and possibly aged rum. When Prohibition Spirits was starting up I was the conduit for the used Pinot Noir barrels for the Hookers House Bourbon and Chardonnay puncheons for Sugar Daddy Rum.

Secret Spot:

Wingo, which is south of Larson and where the old train tracks cross Sonoma Creek. To get there you pass through a wildlife preserve which is mostly a mud flat with an elevated dirt road. You have a 360° view and it is quiet and peaceful. If you take the road all the way to the end you have a great view of Sonoma Valley opening up before you with Carneros spread out below.

In Person: www.flickr.com/CarnerosWine


Carneros Wine Alliance
The Carneros Wine Alliance is a non-profit association of wineries and grape-growers in the Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA).  Carneros is the only appellation located at the crossroads of two major wine regions, the Napa and Sonoma Valleys.  Influenced by the maritime breezes and fog from its southern border with the San Pablo Bay, Carneros produces the region’s finest Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and sparkling wines. The Carneros Wine Alliance is committed to promoting the distinction, diversity and above all, quality, of the grapes and wines from Carneros.