Sanglier \sân·glē·ā\ n. [French] wild boar
1. a tusked Eurasian wild pig from which domestic pigs are descended
2. the flesh of the wild boar as food, preferably smoked or braised
Wild boar are common in Sonoma County, East Texas, and much of France. They are often seen in and around the vineyards we farm and we are always impressed when we chance upon one in the countryside. They are fiercely intelligent, brash, and highly adaptable. Wild boar is also a classic ingredient in many of the cuisines of France, a favorite travel destination for us, and an inspiration for much of Melissa's cooking.
Raised in a farming family in East Texas, Glenn Alexander was always drawn to the land. While pursuing a degree in viticulture, he farmed his own organic vineyard in the Russian River Valley and began his winemaking education at Preston Winery. Soon he was asked to farm for some neighbors and decided to start his own farming company in 2003, and named it after the Greek god of the grape harvest and wine, Bacchus. By 2016 he was farming 800 acres.
In 2006, Glenn and Melissa started Sanglier Cellars. The first vintage was a four-barrel lot of Syrah from a vineyard Glenn farmed on a sandstone ridgeline west of Healdsburg. In 2007, they expanded the second vintage to include a Syrah from the volcanic soils of Kick Ranch located on the eastern flank of Spring Mountain. Today, Sanglier's wines have grown to include pinot noir, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, a traditional whole cluster press rosé, and a Chateauneuf-du- Pape styled grenache-syrah-mourvedre blend.
Our heritage is the great vineyard sites Glenn farms. Every vineyard has been chosen because of its dynamic and special relationship with soil, climate, rootstock, and grape clone. Each vintage is hand crafted in small lots using time tested traditional methods and the best of modern winemaking techniques. Methods and techniques learned from the years spent working with such iconic California winemakers as Paul Hobbs, Michael Brown, and Russell Bevan. As well as time spent with Gonzague and Claire Lurton of Chateau Durfort Vivens and Chateau Ferriere in Bordeaux.
Our inspiration for the wines are the times we spend at the table with friends and family, gathered around Melissa’s food. Food that is thoughtful, slow cooked, with ingredients sourced from her one-acre garden of heirloom vegetables and the forty fruit trees that line the family vineyard. In Melissa’s kitchen, everything has its place. At her table every dish has its wines.
We farm, we eat, we drink. We do it with joy. Join us.
Glenn and Melissa Alexander
Glenn and Melissa were born and raised in rural East Texas. They met in college, got married, and raised two children together. They are now the proud grandparents of a baby granddaughter.
In 1985 Glenn and Melissa made their first visit to Sonoma County. The daily celebration of life they experienced in the small wineries and farms and the towns and villages pulled them back every year for the next sixteen years. In 2001, they purchased a small farmhouse and an old-vine zinfandel vineyard in the Russian River Valley.
Melissa began transforming the house and vineyard they purchased into a true farm. She established foundation plantings of fruit trees and herb gardens throughout. Heirloom selections of tomatoes, peppers, beans and melons became a personal passion. Anticipation of the annual fava bean crop was intense. Wild arugula and fresh strawberries became an almost year round delight. Melissa’s true calling was the desire to take these fresh fruits and vegetables, along with the locally raised duck, rabbit, lamb, and beef and bring them to her table. Always conscious of the time honored traditions of the farm kitchens of France, her food became the inspiration for the wines of Sanglier Cellars. In September of 2018 Melissa was inducted into the San Francisco Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier.
Glenn, who grew up farming peppers and tomatoes with his father near Edom, Texas began taking care of the vineyard. He gained additional experience by completing the viticulture program at Santa Rosa College, the winemaking program at the University of California at Davis, and working at Chateau Montelena in the Napa Valley and Preston Winery in Dry Creek Valley. Melissa, a life-long cook, continued expanding her culinary skills by attending cooking schools in the South of France, the Culinary Institute of America in the Napa Valley, and spending time with local chefs.
Chelsea Alexander Hawley
The daughter of Glenn and Melissa Alexander, Chelsea grew up in the small East Texas town of Henderson. She attended college at TCU in Fort Worth and then lived and worked in New York City for several years before relocating to Sonoma County.
Her parents had already made the move to wine country, and after several visits, the casual California lifestyle heavily focused on food and wine along with the beauty of the land, inspired her to do the same. Her dad had begun farming wine grapes and established Bacchus by this time. Chelsea starting working for her dad while taking wine education classes at Santa Rosa Junior College. She also worked for the famed Ridge Vineyards at Lytton Springs for three years.
In 2007, she co-founded Sanglier Cellars with her family, where she had been responsible for brand development, marketing, sales, wine club, and tasting room management. She opened the doors to Sanglier's downtown Healdsburg location, where she continues to work. In 2015 Chelsea created the private wine club, Hogs & Frogs, which exclusively serves alumni of her college.
Chelsea and her husband Austin Hawley, the winemaker of Hawley Winery in Dry Creek Valley, welcomed their daughter Emilia in the summer of 2014, and their son Hayes in January 2017.
Glenn and Melissa’s son Dustin Alexander, a founding partner in Sanglier, still resides in Fort Worth, Texas where he teaches high school and coaches soccer. He is a graduate of Texas State University and organizes global travel trips for his students. From the vineyards of France, to the Great Wall of China, and the volcanoes of Central America he leads his students on true adventures. And part of that adventure is food, especially the “street foods'“ of the country he is in, paired with the local drink. Although you will rarely see him working with Sanglier in California, he is a main stay at our local events in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas.