So I recently fell in love with Abe Schoener, winemaker and proprietor of Scholium Project...
I first discovered him while reading Jon Bonné's book, The New California Wine. His feature inspired me to research him some more and well one thing led to another and now he might just be one of the coolest winemakers on my list. His philosophy on winemaking is something I really connect with which is experimenting, creativity, and making wines that are interesting. The guy makes an orange colored Sauv Blanc and a cherry red Pinot Grigio! How awesome is that. He has never aimed to make wine for high scores or reviews but out of pure creative enjoyment and has gained a cult like following because of that.
Abe's background is very academic but his winemaking is nothing like that. He is a former Greek Philosophy professor and Assistant Dean at St. John’s College. He left his teaching career in pursuit of his love for wine and founded Scholium Project in 2000. Scholium Project is based in Napa, CA and produces about 2,000 cases annually. Abe was a one man show until very recently hiring two employees. He is extremely hands on and takes pride in teaching his interns as much as possible.
I was eager to try some of his wine so I made a trip to Domaine LA, a boutique wine shop in Los Angeles. I purchased the 2013 Naucratis Verdehlo (retails for $28). This wine was low in alcohol and showed nice minerality and fruit. I enjoyed this wine but what was even more pleasurable was knowing the story of the producer who made it. I am a huge fan of Abe's winemaking philosophy. He's like a mad scientist and true artist wrapped in one. I admire him greatly and aspire to have that same creative, fearless spirit as I pursue my own winemaking projects.
Here's what others are saying about Abe's wines...
"Like their maker, the wines are not shy. They’re more emotional than technical, more intellectual than hedonistic." -Wall Street Journal
"Schoener is selling the experience of extreme authenticity, of something pure and irreplicable. The arrangement is almost absurdly harmonious: the classics professor who has gone to the land (not just any land, but land that’s forgotten and seemingly irredeemable) and found virtue there, for himself and ultimately for his customers, who by buying his wines are buying into Schoener’s vision and thereby becoming something more than just elitist wine collectors." -The New York Times
To purchase his wines check out his site: http://www.scholiumwines.com/