Tim Winkler is the proprietor and farmer of our exceptional Mangalitsa hogs. Winkler Farms spans through oak forests and rolling hill meadows where the pigs roam freely and naturally between Napa & Sonoma Valley appellations.
Winkler Farms prides itself on the integrity, the well being of each animal and selective-genetic breeding. The farm was recently inspected and graded by the Hungarian National Association of Mangalica Breeders where it earned 4 out of 5 stars for genetic purity and breed standards. This rating makes Winkler Farms the highest quality-rated Mangalitsa farm in America.
Mangalitsa (mahn-ga-leetz-ah) is a noble Hungarian breed. Making its presence in America in 2007. The Mangalitsa is known for its rich, dark meat, intramuscular marbling abilities and healthy silk-like fat.
The meat is often compared to high-end beef, in terms of its color and cooked flavor, putting it in a category of its own. For this reason, the Mangalitsa has rightfully earned its nickname, "The Kobe Beef of Pork."
It truly is luxurious meat.
Tony and Tim have been working together exclusively over the past 8 years. They are close friends and have the upmost respect for one another and a passion for each other's line of work. Their strong business relationship and professional goals are aligned. Together they work effortlessly to ensure the breed standard is maintained of purity and continually care to help evolve the breeds high-quality attributes and reputation.
Since day one when they met on Tims farm- their vision was to create something pure and truly original in America. One premium breed, one farm, one craftsman. This in turn reveals an honest, unique and world class cured Mangalitsa product.
Due to the rising popularity of inexpensive, processed vegetable oils and lard substitutes in the early 1900s, the Mangalitsa breed was on the brink of extinction. Their numbers were diminished to less than 200 pigs globally.
So how did this noble breed make a triumphant comeback? Being a "lard breed" the answer is in the creamy sought after fat and delicious cured meat. The breed made a slow but strong resurgence in the early 2000's, thanks to a Hungarian geneticist, local farmers and European ham producers. In addition, the growing appreciation of natural foods and healthy living continue to elevate the popularity of the Mangalitsa.
Mangalitsa is one of the oldest European breeds. Raised for Archduke Joseph over 180 years ago in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the breed was created for royalty by crossing Wild Boar with diverse local and regional breeds. The most distinctive features of the breed are their curly sheep-like wool and the intensely intramuscular streaked meat. It is comprised of three different breeds: The Blond, Swallow Bellied and Red. Although they are virtually identical, color aside, there are slight differences in the meat, marbling and fat qualities.
Even though the breed is domesticated, it has been studied and proven to be more closely related to Eurasion Wild Boar than any other breed. This is a positive indication of the pure-bred blood lines and high quality meat.
Mangalitsa meat belongs to the group of fat-rich meat. It's fresh meat is far darker, more succulent and delicate than the meat of other well known heritage pig breeds.
Our Mangalitsa is grown slower and longer to the age of 18-24 months. Far exceeding commodity pork growth rate times (6-8 months) of large industrial farming methods. Winkler Farms believes in doing right by the animal and respecting old traditional ways of farming. By doing so, this allows the absolute fullest potential of each pig to develop and properly mature.
These combinations of healthy fatty acids and fat qualities are the reason Mangalitsa fat melts below body temperature.
Because of its intense marbling, the Jamon of a Mangalitsa hog can age far longer than that of an average pig, allowing a deep nutty & cheesy flavor to develop and retain it's fat moisture.
All these factors contribute to a luxurious and unrivaled finished product.